While the Los Angeles Lakers finalize their gameplan for the offseason, Kemba Walker is still waiting to determine his future with the Charlotte Hornets.
Walker has done what he can to earn a lucrative payday this offseason after being named to the All-NBA Third Team. As a result, he is now eligible to receive a five-year, $221 million supermax contract deal.
Of course, the question remains whether or not the Hornets are looking to offer him that type of money while they are in the midst of trying to become a legitimate playoff contender. It seems Walker would be willing to work around some of the team’s needs.
According to Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, Walker would be open to the idea of taking less money to help the Hornets garner some more talent around him:
Walker was asked if he’d consider taking less than the full $221 million guarantee to help the Hornets put talent around him. After a pause, he said, “Yeah, why not. I would be. I would take less, for sure.”
This is certainly an encouraging sign from Walker and it is telling of how willing he is to make things work in Charlotte. This should come as no surprise considering he was distraught at the prospect of being traded during the 2017-18 NBA season. While it is clear that Walker would be willing to do his part, it remains to be seen if the Hornets are willing to do theirs, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The biggest question facing Charlotte right now is are they going to re-sign Kemba Walker in free agency… or are they going to be willing to allow him to go out into the marketplace where teams like Dallas, the Knicks, and the Lakers are going to be very interested in Walker.
Walker has long been one of the few bright spots for this team after being named to the All-Star Game for the last three years. If the Hornets are not looking to secure him to a long-term deal, there appears to be no shortage of interest in teams that are like the Los Angeles Lakers.
A lot can happen throughout the course of the offseason with Walker eagerly looking to test the market. Regardless, his comments indicate that he is willing to bypass all of it if the Hornets can convince him that taking less money would be the best course of action.