Kemba Walker has no desire to leave Charlotte—now or in free agency next year.
The Hornets point guard said he plans on remaining right where he’s at “for a long time” in an interview with Michael Scotto of The Athletic.
“As far as seeing me in New York, I doubt it,” Walker said. “I’m a Hornet, and I’m planning on being a Hornet for a long time; so, yeah, I’m not sure about that [New York].”
Walker, 28, will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. He’ll make $12 million in 2018-19 and stands to see a significant raise in his next contract.
The question was posed to Walker because he’s from New York, and the Knicks are expected to be a major player in free agency in 2019. Walker also had a number of memorable moments at Madison Square Garden while playing at UConn, highlighted by his 2011 Big East Tournament MVP.
“It means a lot; it means everything,” Walker said. “Without New York, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I know what these kids go through on a daily basis. I’ve grown up the same way they have, but you know I just stayed on the right path of school, hard work, basketball and just being a good person, and I made it out.”
Walker’s contractual situation is especially interesting with the Hornets missing the playoffs the last two seasons. Charlotte is already capped out after giving a bad max deal to Nicolas Batum and long-term, big-money contracts to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller. MKG and Williams have player options for 2019-20 and will almost certainly opt into their respective deals.
Walker will likely more than double his salary over the course of a long-term deal. The prospect of paying him more than $30 million a season in his 30s has to feel like a risk when he plays the NBA’s deepest position and isn’t considered among the best half-dozen players at his position.
Courtesy: Bleacher Report