OFFSEASON

Antoine Walker signs with Idaho Stampede

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Antoine Walker signs with Idaho Stampede

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

Antoine Walker is back in basketball.

This time, it's far from Boston.

Walker signed with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League, the team announced on Tuesday.

Boise is the latest stop in a basketball career that began 14 years ago in Boston, and has since been marred with legal troubles.

Walker, 34, played his seven first NBA seasons with the Celtics. He earned three All-Star selections during that time before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks in 2003.

The following season he was dealt to the Atlanta Hawks, and months later was re-acquired by the Celtics.

In 2005, Walker was traded to the Miami Heat, where he won an NBA championship with Shaquille ONeal.

Walker was sent to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2007 and played his last NBA game on February 19, 2008. That offseason he was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies but was waived.

He most recently played for the Mets de Guaynabo in Puerto Rico before being released in April.

Walker has been trying to get back to basketball after dealing with off-the-court issues, including a DUI, gambling debt, and bankruptcy.

He will return to New England on December 16 and 19 when the Stampede play the Maine Red Claws in Portland.

Walker isn't the only former Celtic in the Stampede organization. Greg Minor, who played three seasons with Walker, is an assistant coach.

Follow Jessica Camerato on Twitter at http:www.twitter.comjcameratonba

OFFSEASON

Future uncertain for Johnson and Jerebko as Celtics pursue Durant

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Future uncertain for Johnson and Jerebko as Celtics pursue Durant

BOSTON -- When you’re the Boston Celtics and you have your sights set on a star like Kevin Durant, the potential impact on your roster is undeniable.

That’s a good thing, right?

Well . . . not exactly.

One of the options that the Celtics are considering during the free agency period is whether to waive Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko before July 3 which would create additional salary cap space to potentially sign Durant and another near max-salaried player.

But here’s the problem.

Boston could potentially waive Johnson and Jerebko, fail to get Durant or another elite free agent and see the duo gone for nothing in return while they play their way into a big contract toiling in the NBA’s basement with one of the league’s worst teams.

How you ask?

Multiple league sources contacted by CSNNE.com Tuesday night indicated that if the Celtics waive both players, it’s “very likely” that both will be claimed off waivers.

According to a league office official, waiver priority goes to the team with the worst record attempting to claim a player.

And what team had the worst record in the NBA last season?

Yup. The 10-win Philadelphia 76ers.

And what team was right behind them, or ahead depending on how you look at things?

The lowly, 17-win Los Angeles Lakers.

Johnson is due $12 million next season while Jerebko is due to earn $5 million, chump change in this new age of the NBA with the 2016-2017 salary cap expected to be around $94 million.

In addition, both players would join clubs in contract years. Couple that with each being relatively productive and there’s the potential for each player to have a really big season.

Johnson was the Celtics’ top rim-protector last season, in addition to being a solid pick-and-roll defender. He also averaged 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds with 1.7 assists and 1.1 blocked shots per game. 

And Jerebko shot 39.8 percent from 3-point range last season, and finished up the playoffs in the starting lineup.

The Celtics are well aware of how valuable both players were to Boston’s success last season, and how their production relative to their contracts makes them extremely important to whatever team they play for.

To lose them for what would essentially be a lottery ticket in the Durant sweepstakes, is certainly a gamble that it remains to be seen if the Celtics are willing to take.

Best-case scenario for Boston is to know where they stand with Durant within the first 24 hours of free agency which would then allow them time to make a more informed decision about Johnson and Jerebko’s futures.

As you can imagine, the Celtics are as eager as any team to know what Durant plans to do this summer.

Because the way things are starting to take shape with Boston’s pursuit of the former league MVP, he’s going to have an impact on the Celtics’ roster one way or another.