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NBA Rumors: Kemba Walker Waived by Mavericks Before Contract Becomes Guaranteed

Adam WellsJanuary 6, 2023

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 19: Kemba Walker #34 of the Dallas Mavericks looks on against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the third quarter of the game at Target Center on December 19, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Timberwolves defeated the Mavericks 116-106. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
David Berding/Getty Images

Kemba Walker's stint with the Dallas Mavericks has come to an end after nine games.

Per ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Mavs are waiving Walker before his salary for this season would have become guaranteed on Saturday.

MacMahon added McKinley Wright IV and rookie Jaden Hardy are expected to see increased playing time going forward.

Walker signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with the Mavericks on Nov. 28. He became a free agent in October after being waived by the Detroit Pistons, who acquired him in July from the New York Knicks.

Injuries have derailed Walker's career in recent years. He missed 90 games in the previous three seasons combined, including the final 23 games in 2021-22 due to a knee issue.

Walker made his season debut on Dec. 10, scoring eight points in 20 minutes off the bench in a 144-115 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

The four-time All-Star has struggled with limited playing time with the Mavs. He is averaging 8.0 points on 42.1 percent shooting, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game in nine appearances.

Walker's lone start this season was, by far, his best game. The 32-year-old dropped 32 points on 12-of-25 shooting from the field and dished out seven assists in 42 minutes in a 100-99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 17.

Wright, 24, has appeared in each of Dallas' past seven games. He's only averaging 2.0 points and 1.1 assists per game during that stretch, but has contributed at least one steal in five of those games.

Hardy was a second-round pick by the Sacramento Kings in the 2022 NBA draft before being traded to Dallas. He's only shooting 38.5 percent from the field in 12 appearances off the bench.

The Mavericks are still trying to find secondary players who can elevate the team into contenders in the Western Conference and take some of the pressure off Luka Dončić. Their seven-game winning streak was snapped with a 124-95 loss to the Boston Celtics on Thursday.

Dallas currently ranks fourth in the Western Conference with a 22-17 record.