While Kemba Walker can earn substantially more money on the open market by staying home and inking a supermax deal with the Charlotte Hornets, there will be no shortage of teams eager to lure him to their franchises.
Marc Stein of the New York Times writes that the Hornets and Mavs will be at the front of the line when it comes to recruiting Walker on June 30. Walker, 29, is coming off his third consecutive All-Star campaign and could greatly supplement a team’s chances of contending in 2019-20.
In Boston, Celtics fans have seen their offseason take a dramatic turn. Where once fans dreamed of the possibilities of an Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving and Al Horford pairing, they’re now left preparing to hand the keys to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
If the C’s were able to land Walker, they’d be able to pick up where they left on in 2018-19, destined for a playoff berth, albeit with a slightly younger and hopefully less dramatic roster.
As Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports reports, if the C’s renounce all their free agents, they’d be able to extend a max offer to Walker starting at a projected $32.7 million. That’s the silver lining of having to watch Irving and Horford walk for nothing.
Dallas, similarly, would be able to offer Walker as much as any non-Charlotte team could offer and have an equally intriguing young core to tempt him with. The Mavs are building for the future around Luka Doncic but the 2018-19 Rookie of the Year proved himself solid enough to bump up the franchise’s rebuilding franchise.
Of course, as tempting as Dallas and Boston may seem, the veteran guard has $80 million reasons to stay with Charlotte. Given that Walker qualified for the All-NBA Third Team this year, he’s eligible to earn a supermax contract worth $220 million over five years.
Those potential earnings would shrink to approximately $140 million over four years if he leaves for another organization.