Celtics rumor roundup: The latest on the team’s plans for free agency

Kemba Walker.

Official negotiations can begin at 6 p.m. on June 30, but NBA free agency rumors are already buzzing. With All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Al Horford both expected to leave Boston, here’s a look at what the Celtics might do with their cap space:

Sunday, June 30

Al Horford could actually be staying: 

Point guard Terry Rozier will be shipped to the Charlotte Hornets via a sign-and-trade deal: According to The Athletic‘s Shams Charania, the three-year contract is worth $58 million.

Saturday, June 29

Point guard Kyrie Irving is reportedly meeting with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday: If the Nets and Kyrie Irving reach an agreement, point guard D’Angelo Russell is expected to leave Brooklyn. Russell’s former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, has reportedly reached out to his agents to schedule a meeting.

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Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker reportedly will be in Boston Sunday to sign a four-year, $141 million deal with the Celtics: According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, Walker has informed the Hornets of his decision.

Here’s the latest on the Celtics’ restricted free agents: Boston is extending qualifying offers to center Daniel Theis and point guard Terry Rozier. The team is declining to extend a qualifying offer to point guard Brad Wanamaker, which makes him an unrestricted free agent. As restricted free agents, Theis and Rozier can test the market, but the Celtics have the ability to match any offer sheet they receive from other teams. They can also renounce the rights to both players.

What will the Celtics do with their $4.8 million room exception? The Athletic‘s Shams Charania reported Boston intends to sign a big, naming both Portland Trail Blazers’ Enes Kanter and Golden State Warriors’ Kevon Looney as possibilities.

The Celtics are reportedly not pursuing Houston Rockets center Clint Capela: The Celtics are neither close nor still trying to land Clint Capela, Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reported Saturday morning. The two had been linked in trade rumors before the draft.

Friday, June 28

The Orlando Magic are reportedly planning to lock down center Nikola Vucevic: Unrestricted free agent Nikola Vucevic could have been a target for the Celtics, given their void at center.

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Thursday, June 27

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly planning on pursuing Kyrie Irving: Although multiple reports have indicated Kyrie Irving is leaving Boston for the Brooklyn Nets, the Lakers still plan to target Irving, according to Marc Stein of the New York Times. The Lakers have enough cap space to sign a max-level free agent, after reportedly trading youngsters Moe Wagner, Jemerrio Jones, and Isaac Bonga to the Washington Wizards.

Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel will reportedly become a free agent: Nerlens Noel will not pick up his $1.9 million player option, The Athletic‘s Shams Charania reported. Several teams are expected to be interested, per Charania, and the 25-year-old Malden native could be an option for the Celtics. If Horford walks, Boston’s depth chart at center would consist of Robert Williams; Daniel Theis, who is a restricted free agent; and Grant Williams.

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The Celtics have reportedly emerged as “the frontrunner” to sign Kemba Walker: ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said later Thursday that Boston is “more than a frontrunner” and could have a deal as early as Sunday night when the moratorium lifts.

Wednesday, June 26

The New York Knicks are reportedly a potential suitor for Terry Rozier: The Athletic‘s Shams Charania reported that if the Knicks miss out on top free agents, like point guard Kyrie Irving, Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, and Toronto Raptors forward, Kawhi Leonard, they will shift toward “high-level rotation players.” Boston’s backup point guard Terry Rozier is a restricted free agent and has made it clear he was unhappy with how last season panned out for him.

The Celtics are reportedly one of the teams expected to be interested in Enes Kanter: Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter is expected to draw interest from the Celtics, Trail Blazers, and Los Angeles Lakers, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

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The Houston Rockets are reportedly shopping Clint Capela: According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets are shopping center Clint Capela. The Celtics had “checked in” about Capela before the draft, SNY’s Ian Begley reported earlier in June.

Tuesday, June 25

The Celtics reportedly are a suitor for Kemba Walker:

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks are “at the front of the line” in the pursuit of Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker. Because he earned third-team All-NBA honors, Walker is eligible for a five-year, $221 million supermax contract that only the Hornets can offer. Walker has said before he is willing to accept a deal less than a supermax so that Charlotte can build a team around him.

“I have been here for eight years, and it’s the team that drafted me,” he said earlier in June. “It is my first priority. I don’t know if I will sign back with them, but they are my first priority.”

Other teams can offer Walker a four-year, $140 million max contract. For the Celtics to afford the 29-year-old — who won an NCAA championship with UConn, beating then-Butler Bulldogs coach Brad Stevens — they would likely need to renounce all their free agents, most notably Marcus Morris and Terry Rozier.

Boston’s roster would then consist of Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Semi Ojeleye, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Robert Williams, and Guerschon Yabusele, along with draft picks Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters.