If Kemba Walker doesn’t get a “supermax” contract with the Hornets, it may be a three-team race for the All-Star point guard.
During ESPN’s mock draft special Tuesday, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski said the Lakers, Knicks and Mavericks are the three teams other than Charlotte most interested in signing Walker, who was named third-team All-NBA this season.
— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) June 12, 2019
If Charlotte slides a supertax deal across the table to Walker, it would be hard to pass up. The maximum contract other teams can offer him is four years and $140.6 million, but the Hornets can offer up to five years and $221.3 million in a supermax deal.
In a recent interview with The Athletic, Walker said: “Charlotte’s definitely my first priority.”
“Charlotte is my home, man,” he said. “I’ve been there for eight years and it’s been the most amazing eight years of my life. My family, they love it. The fans love me. The organization has been great and gave me my opportunity.”
Happy birthday to the Hornets all-time leader in points, field goals, free throws and threes: Kemba Walker aka Cardiac Kemba! pic.twitter.com/DwGBEp6fyy
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 8, 2019
Recent reports have seemed to eliminate New York and Los Angeles from Walker’s list of potential destinations.
Wojnarowski said Tuesday the Lakers “are not a front-runner or even really a major consideration among any of the elite free agents,” while SNY reported earlier this week the 29-year-old guard signing with the Knicks this summer “isn’t a likely outcome.”
The Lakers are expected to continue their efforts to get a deal done for Anthony Davis, which would likely involve Lonzo Ball and the fourth overall pick in the upcoming draft in some fashion. Moving Ball and the potential to draft a point guard prospect would make Walker a seemingly perfect fit with LeBron James and Davis.
The biggest draw for Walker in New York could have been the potential to pair with Kevin Durant if he signs in the Big Apple. But that duo would be put on hold for much, if not all, of next season while Durant rehabs from an Achilles injury suffered Monday during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Walker would make for an interesting addition to the Mavericks alongside 20-year-old Luka Doncic and 7-3 Latvian Kristaps Porzingis.
Walker averaged a career-high 25.6 points, along with, 5.9 assists, for Charlotte last season. He shot 43.4% from the field and 35.6% from 3-point range.