NBA Trades & Free Agency: 5 Offseason moves that should have happened but didn't
#4 The Charlotte Hornets re-signing Kemba Walker
One of the first signings of the free agency period was Kemba Walker. Walker signed with the Boston Celtics as Kyrie Irving signed with the Nets. The two guards were a part of a sign and trade that sent them to their current teams. Now, both players have (much needed) fresh starts.
Walker signed with the Celtics after eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets. In 2011, the Hornets (then Bobcats) drafted Walker with the ninth pick. Since then, Walker was the star of the Hornets and led the team as they struggled.
Through their ups and downs, Walker remained loyal to the Hornets. He remained with the Hornets up until this summer, when they did not offer him a supermax deal. Walker became eligible for a supermax contract after making the All-NBA Third Team last season. He did so after averaging 25.6 points, 5.9 assists, and 4.4 rebounds. His averages in points and rebounds were career-highs.
Since Walker had a productive season, he received recognition by making Third Team. This also led to his supermax eligibility. Walker had a stipulation in his Hornets deal that if he made any of the All-NBA teams, he'd receive more money. With the accomplishment, Walker could have increased his maximum contract of nearly $80 million if he stayed in Charlotte. But that did not happen.
Walker's deal with the Celtics was a great deal for both him and the Celtics. Signing with the Celtics gives Walker a better chance of winning and making the playoffs. He made the right decision and gained the opportunity to do great things in Boston. So, it works out for him.
The losers in this situation are the Hornets. They lost their star due to their reluctance in giving him a max deal. If they intend to rebuild, the decision works. Otherwise, they made a mistake.
In this scenario, this is a signing that should have happened but didn't. But it is mostly due to the team rather than the player. Walker was loyal to the Hornets but had to move on, especially after their decision. It was the best move for him.Published 19 Jul 2019, 13:25 IST