Potential Mavericks target Kemba Walker Says He'd Consider Taking Less Than Supermax To Stay With Hornets
Three-time NBA All-Star Kemba Walker said he'd be open to taking less than the supermax this summer, if that means helping the Charlotte Hornets build a winning team.
Because Walker was named to an All-NBA team this season, the Hornets can offer him a five-year supermax contract worth up to $221 million -- significantly more than the five-year, $190 million deal he would have qualified for had he not been named All-NBA.
Other teams can offer only a four-year deal worth $140 million when free agency begins June 30.
"Yeah, why not? Yeah I would be. I would take less, yeah," Walker said when asked if he'd take less than the supermax. The 29-year-old Walker said he's eager to hear what other teams have to offer.
"That all factors in (to my decision) when I sit down with the teams and hear what guys have to say," Walker said. "I think that will all come into play. I'm not really sure right now. Like I said Charlotte is my first priority and I have to see what (the Hornets) have to offer, as well as other teams."
There has been plenty of speculation about where Walker might end up, including with the New York Knicks because he grew up in the Bronx. But Walker has repeatedly said he loves playing and living in Charlotte.
The Dallas Mavericks are among the teams reported to be interested in Walker's services. If Walker decides Charlotte can't provide a path to sustained postseason success and is willing to take less than the supermax anyway, does that increase the chances a team like Dallas swoops in to sign him this summer?
The maximum offer the Mavericks can present to Walker is a four-year, $140.6 million contract.
Despite Walker's individual success in Charlotte, he hasn't had any team success with the Hornets. Walker has made it to the playoffs just two times in his career, with both of those postseason appearances resulting in first-round exits. To top things off, the Hornets have missed the playoffs in each of the last three seasons despite Walker clinching All-Star appearances each year.
While Walker's return to Charlotte is far from certain, Hornets fans have to at least feel optimistic considering their franchise player is willing to take a hometown discount to return to the only NBA franchise he's ever known.