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Mavs' Kemba Walker's Knee Is 'Not Good,' but PG Is Best He's Felt in 2 Years, GM Says

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 2, 2022

FILE - New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker (8) dribbles up the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in New York. The Dallas Mavericks are close to a deal with four-time All-Star guard Kemba Walker, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

Dallas Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison admitted in a radio interview that recently signed point guard Kemba Walker's left knee is "not good" but that he could still play on it.

"It’s not good," Harrison said on The Ticket Sports Radio (h/t Josh Bowe of Mavs Moneyball).

"It’s not good at all. But he’s rehabbed it and it’s the best he’s felt in the last two years so, we’ll see how long that lasts."

In a follow-up to those remarks, Harrison said:

"Well, it hasn’t been good for a few years. Even last year, he had 30-point games on it. But it actually feels better now. The reality is, if you look at it, it’s not good, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play on it."

The 32-year-old Walker is a four-time All-Star who joined the NBA with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2011. His most recent pro action came with the New York Knicks during the 2021-22 season.

During that campaign, Walker averaged 11.6 points on 40.3 percent shooting and 3.5 assists in 25.6 minutes per game over 37 contests.

Walker has suffered numerous injuries to his left knee during his career, including a torn meniscus (2015 and 2016). He underwent an arthroscopic procedure in 2017 and sat 10 games with left knee soreness in 2020. A stem-cell injection in his left knee later than year kept him out until Jan. 17, 2021.

Unfortunately, his knee continued to give him trouble with the Knicks, and he was shut down in February.

When healthy, Walker can be an offensive juggernaut. He notably dropped 44 points on the Washington Wizards last December to cap a three-game stretch in which he averaged 31.3 points. Walker followed that up with a triple-double against the Atlanta Hawks on Christmas.

However, Walker struggled for much of the remainder of his campaign as his knee continued to give him trouble. Following the Christmas Day game, he averaged just 7.8 points on 35.4 percent shooting.

The pressure won't be on Walker to run the offense in Dallas like he did in New York with superstar Luka Dončić leading the way, but he could be a huge boost to the Mavs as a reserve playing quality minutes off the bench, albeit in smaller stints.

On Thursday, Kidd gave an update on where Walker is right now, per Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News.

Callie Caplan @CallieCaplan

Jason Kidd said "everybody's good to go" tonight vs. Pistons.<br><br>Kemba Walker too? “No, no. No.”<br><br>Timeline on Kemba? “We’ll see how he feels after today’s workout, and then we’ll practice tomorrow in New York, and we’ll see how that goes.”

He joins a team in need of some help after a 10-11 start, including a 1-8 stint on the road. Walker did not play Thursday in the team's loss to the Detroit Pistons. His next chance to play is Saturday in a road game against the Knicks.