Early Monday morning, news emerged that the Dallas Mavericks are waiving Facundo Campazzo and signing Kemba Walker. The four-time All-Star was traded to the Detroit Pistons this offseason and was eventually waived.
Kemba Walker, 32, spent last season with the New York Knicks after playing for the Boston Celtics for two years. He appeared in 37 games and averaged 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.
Campazzo is a strong backup point guard but is mainly just a facilitator. When Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spoke about the move, he cited bringing more of a scoring punch on the offensive end.
“We wanted to add some flexibility to our offense. Like last year at this point, we have great shot quality, particularly from the 3, but we have struggled to make enough of them. Kemba will give J-Kidd more offensive flexibility.”
With the addition of Kemba Walker, Dallas can now put more ballhandling and shot creation around MVP frontrunner Luka Doncic. This should lessen the immense load the star guard has had to carry on offense.
Can Kemba Walker help the Dallas Mavericks?
This offseason, it was clear that the Dallas Mavericks needed to add more talent around Luka Doncic. Following a breakout year in 2022, Jalen Brunson departed for the New York Knicks in free agency. With no running mate in the backcourt, Luka has essentially been forced to do it all for the Mavericks' offense.
While he is more than capable of carrying such a load, it is not a recipe for playoff success. Dallas will need multiple threats to return to the conference finals.
Kemba Walker should be able to assist Dallas in terms of fitness. He can still score and create for himself at a reasonable rate. There are, however, some red flags.
The first is health. Part of what led to Kemba Walker's downfall is the inability to stay on the floor. Over the past two seasons, he has only appeared in 80 games. Now in his mid-30s, it's questionable how often he'll actually be available for the Mavericks.
Another cause for concern is Walker's defense. Standing at six feet tall, the former top-ten pick is a liability on that end of the floor. Opponents will regularly look to attack him, which could limit the impact he can have.
Given their desperate need for offensive creation around Luka, the addition of Walker will likely end up being positive as long as he's healthy.
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