Kemba Walker hails from The Bronx and is a three-time All-Star. He makes sense for the needy Knicks, but how much sense/cents?
He’s a complicated target, a player who could be eligible for a super-max contract slot if he makes one of three all-NBA teams, but is he worthy of such a contract having never won a playoff series in his eight years in the league?
He’s even more complicated for his own team, the Hornets, who could pay him up to a five-year deal worth $221 million. That would be the supermax if he makes an All-NBA team, which he’s in play for after a 25.6-point, 5.9-assist season — on a team that missed the playoffs.
Is it worth it? Without him, the Hornets would lose their one standout player. But Charlotte may not want to go that route with a 29-year-old who has not shown he can be the best player on an NBA contender.
“They’re f–ked either way,” three different NBA executive told Bleacher Report about their Walker decision.
“It’d be like the John Wall deal,” one front-office person said. “They should have traded him last year, when his value was high. They could have just reset.”
Walker will likely find himself in the middle of free-agency mayhem this summer, waiting out the premier players, like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard, and deciding what’s most important: Money, fame or winning.
Walker has not tipped his hand, but has made it known what the Garden means to him.
“I mean, I’m home. This is where I’m from,” Walker said in December, when asked why he likes playing at the Garden so much. “I’m pretty sure anyone that goes home to play where they’re from, it’s exciting for them. [It’s exciting] for me, when I get a chance to play in front of my family and friends, play in front of the people that know me best.”
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