Kemba Walker’s stint with the Detroit Pistons might end before it even starts.
When Kemba Walker landed in Detroit as part of a three-team trade last offseason, many people didn’t expect that he will be part of the team’s future plans. This couldn’t be any nearer to the truth, as the Pistons are now expected to waive Walker and let him enter unrestricted free agency.
Shams Charania of The Athletic, along with James L. Edwards III, received news that the Pistons are “likely” to waive Walker in a bid to trim the roster to 15 players. Walker will become a free agent, although he himself admitted that he’s yet to hear from other teams. Per Jenna Lemoncelli of the New York Post, Walker said that while nobody has reached out to him yet, he’s still bent on playing in the NBA if the opportunity presents itself.
It’s another disappointing chapter in Walker’s story, considering that it was only three years ago when he notched his fourth-straight appearance in an NBA All-Star Game. During the 2019-20 season, Walker tallied an all-around stat line of 20.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists, while being pegged as a cornerstone for the Boston Celtics franchise. But a knee injury derailed his progress, and his production dipped since then.
Kemba Walker played for the New York Knicks last season, but he dropped out of the rotation and was essentially shut down after 37 games. He was still able to put up a decent stat line of 11.6 points, 3.0 boards, and 3.5 assists, but his weaknesses on the defensive end of the floor might have prompted Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau to sit him out for a large chunk of the year.
Walker is only 32 years of age, so he could still help a lot of playoff contenders. A starting role might not happen anymore, but a scoring role in quality minutes off the bench could be something that the four-time All-Star could take advantage of.