Marc Stein has reported the Dallas Mavericks are in advanced talks to sign former All-Star guard Kemba Walker. The move is pending a physical and could become official as soon as this week.
The Mavericks are nearing a deal to sign former All-Star guard Kemba Walker, league sources tell me.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 28, 2022
Full story here via my Substack: https://t.co/POHTACkicK
For a team with high expectations entering the season, Dallas is now a game under .500 after dropping all three in a row on the road. They are definitely in need of a spark off the bench and the much-discussed third ballhandler. This move may be met with some skepticism given the understandable question of how much Walker has left in the proverbial gas tank - yet there is reason to be optimistic about the potential upside.
After a trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder and subsequent buyout, Walker joined the New York Knicks last season. Whether it was Walker’s defensive limitations or simply a personality conflict, things did not go well for Walker in New York. Removed from the Knicks rotation in favor of Alec Burks, Walker eventually decided he would rather be shut down for the season than languish on the Knicks bench.
In his prime, Walker was a bonafide number-one offensive option and volcanic scorer. An All-Star as recently the 2019-2020 season with Boston, Walker showed as recently as December of last season that he is still capable of taking over a game when he dropped 44 points against the Wizards on December 23, 2021.
While there will be defensive concerns, the current alternatives on the roster for the lead bench guard role - Facu Campazzo and Frank Ntilikina - have far less upside. Dallas may go on to be a player in the trade market but it is clear the front office is making this move with a sense of urgency to address a clear need on the roster that simply cannot wait for the right trade to materialize.
In that game against the Wizards, Walker played opposite his probable new teammate - Spencer Dinwiddie. The optimistic way to look at this move is through the Dinwiddie prism - a high-caliber player extricated from a miserable situation and is rejuvenated by the Mavericks locker room and the open looks Luka Doncic provides. Dallas hopes that the script repeats for Kemba Walker.
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