NBA Rumors: Kemba Walker to Be Mavericks' Top Target in 2019 Free Agency

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2019

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker stands on the court during a break in the action against the Washington Wizards in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, March 8, 2019. Charlotte won 112-111. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Nell Redmond/Associated Press

Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker will reportedly be the Dallas Mavericks' main target during the NBA's 2019 free-agent period as they seek another star to pair with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

On Monday, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reported the Mavs and Hornets, who will attempt to keep the three-time All-Star, are expected to face competition from the Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.

Dallas finds itself in a promising long-term position despite its 27-40 record.

Along with Doncic, who appears poised to take over as the Mavericks' face of the franchise from Dirk Nowitzki, they acquired Porzingis in a January trade with the Knicks to replace the frontcourt production Nowitzki provided for two decades.

ClutchPoints @ClutchPointsApp

Could Kemba Walker join Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on the Mavs? https://t.co/L2TuFmNHdg

The Mavs could also secure a top-five pick in the 2019 draft. If the selection lands outside the top five, it will be transferred to the Atlanta Hawks as part of the deal that allowed them to acquire Doncic's rights for Trae Young's rights during last year's draft.

But if the lottery goes their way, they could have Doncic, Porzingis and a prospect like the Duke Blue Devils' Cameron Reddish or Gonzaga Bulldogs' Rui Hachimura while still maintaining the financial flexibility to make a serious run at Walker in free agency.

The 28-year-old point guard is averaging a career-high 25.1 points for Charlotte this season to go along with 5.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals. He's shooting 43.2 percent from the floor and 35.9 percent from three, though he topped 37 percent from beyond the arc each of the previous three years.

Walker, who's in the final season of a four-year, $48 million contract with the Hornets, ranks sixth among point guards in player efficiency rating for the 2018-19 campaign, per ESPN.com.

Reese Konkle @RKonkle_Mavs

Fwiw, I think Luka and Kemba are a good theoretical fit. And I guess I wouldn’t hate that move, but I’m thinking signing multiple effective role players to good deals is the more practical plan.

He'll likely command a max contract on the open market with at least the aforementioned five teams interested, including squads like the Lakers and Knicks looking to make a major splash this summer.


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