With so many top-tier players heading into 2019 NBA free agency, keeping track of who’s in and who’s out of the mix for each name is a tall task. Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker has been a tough player to monitor, as there have been rumblings which link him to a number of potential teams. With that said, we may now be able to rule out two potential destinations.
According to Dallas Mavericks insider Mike Fisher, Walker, who’s a New York native, does not have an interest in returning there.
In turn, this would mean both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are out of the mix and could open the door for a number of other teams who have shown some level of interest. Obviously, the Hornets are still at the forefront, partially due to the fact that they can offer him a supermax contract, but also because Walker has spent his entire career there.
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Kemba Walker Linked to Lakers, Celtics
The free agency chatter around Walker has been heard early and often since the end of the 2018-19 NBA season. Just weeks ago, Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that the 29-year-old would be a top target for the Los Angeles Lakers.
This came shortly after the Lakers had acquired Anthony Davis via trade from the New Orleans Pelicans and obviously would set up an intriguing situation in Los Angeles. But even beyond the Lakers and Hornets, Stein reported that the Boston Celtics are emerging as a suitor for Walker as well.
It’s hard to argue that either of these teams wouldn’t be a great fit for Walker, but he’s remained incredibly loyal and focused on the Hornets throughout his career. So much so, that he openly stated he’d take a hometown discount to help Charlotte sign additional talent.
Can Kemba Walker Be Lured Away From Hornets in Free Agency?
Walker appears to love playing with the Hornets and being a part of the organization. With that said, the team has struggled to put a decent amount of talent around him in free agency, although he’s more than willing to help.
As The Athletic’s Rod Boone reported, Walker said he would take less than a supermax contract so the Hornets can build around him. During the same interview which came at his youth basketball camp, the talented guard also stated that he would love to stay in Charlotte as free agency approached.
Walker became eligible for a supermax deal after being named third-team All-NBA during the 2018-19 season. This means the Hornets can pay him $221 million over five years while the most another team can offer is $140 million over four years. Exactly what type of deal the team’s front office will put on the table is unknown, but they’re bound to have plenty of competition in the coming weeks.