Although the fact that Kemba Walker made All-NBA honors for the 2018-19 season means that the Charlotte Hornets could re-sign him this summer to a “supermax” contract, that doesn’t necessarily mean other teams have lost interest in him. And if the latest rumors are to be believed, there are at least three teams that are targeting the point guard in free agency.
As explained by Bleacher Report, NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski appeared on ESPN’s mock draft special, where he discussed Walker’s prospects in the 2019 free agency period. According to Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and New York Knicks are among the organizations that are “very interested” in signing the 29-year-old All-NBA guard if he chooses not to re-sign with the Hornets.
If Walker decides to leave Charlotte, the maximum contract he could receive from other teams would be capped at four years and $140.6 million, or an average of slightly over $35 million per season. However, if he signs a supermax extension with the Hornets, he could re-sign for as many as five years and earn up to $221.3 million over that time — per Bleacher Report, the Hornets’ max offer would have been five years and $189.7 million, had Walker not made All-NBA honors.
Given Walker’s potential to earn about $44 million per season if he signs a new deal with the Hornets, Bleacher Report added that the former first-round draft pick out of Connecticut has “plenty of motivation” to stay in Charlotte. However, the outlet added that the Hornets have only made the playoffs twice since Walker joined the team in 2011, bowing out in the first round on both occasions. As such, the star point guard could consider the option of signing with a team that has a better chance of fighting for a championship in the coming seasons.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) June 12, 2019
“Playing alongside LeBron James in Los Angeles or Luka Doncic in Dallas could give him a chance to compete longer into the postseason than he ever has in Charlotte,” Bleacher Report wrote.
As for Walker, who averaged a career-high 25.9 points, along with 4.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game in the 2018-19 campaign, some of his more recent comments suggest that he would like to remain with the Hornets instead of trying his luck elsewhere. As quoted by SportsDay, Walker said in an interview that Charlotte is “definitely [his] first priority,” as he hopes to be one of the few NBA stars who spend their entire careers with only one team.