Since signing a max contract with the Boston Celtics in 2019, as part of a sign-and-trade with the Charlotte Hornets, Walker had some success. He was an All-Star for the fourth consecutive year in his first season with Boston.
However, after issues with his knee flared up repeatedly, Walker was traded to the OKC Thunder. Oklahoma City bought out his dead contract with a $27 million player-option for the upcoming season.
He signed a two-year contract with the New York Knicks, posted career-low numbers (11.6/3.0/3.5) and was benched midway through last season. He was subsequently traded to the Detroit Pistons in July along with Jalen Duren, who was drafted 13th by the Knicks in 2022.
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Walker spoke about his flailing situation in the NBA:
“I just want to be able to play basketball again; I don’t care if it’s the bench or not,” he said. “I started off my career playing basketball coming off the bench. Who cares? I just want to be able to play ball like I love to do, being around some great, great teammates and just have fun.”
Here are three possible landing spots for the veteran guard.
Kemba Walker's possible return to Charlotte
According to Spotrac, the Hornets are $30.4 million in the luxury tax space, with $15 million in maximum possible cap space. They also have a non-taxpayer midlevel exception worth $10.5 million.
Walker has already expressed that he doesn't take issue with coming off the bench, which he certainly would with the Hornets.
Going only by teams with poor guard depth, the Chicago Bulls have taken on significant losses in that department. With Lonzo Ball out for "at least a few months," according to Shams Charania, the Bulls could be a good fit for Walker.
In just his second year in the league, Ayo Dosunmu is set to be the Bulls' starting point guard. Walker's addition could reinforce the position that only consists of Goran Dragic, Dalen Terry and Coby White.
The Miami Heat are another team that could do with Kemba Walker's help, with only Kyle Lowry and Gabe Vincent as their designated point guards.
The Heat will be looking for more depth at power forward to begin with. However, they could use Walker's minutes off the bench to facilitate load management for Lowry.
The Miami Heat, too, can afford a veteran minimum for Walker should he sign with them for one. They are just below the luxury tax threshold, with $162,830 in luxury tax space, according to Spotrac.
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