The Los Angeles Lakers may have a chance to land four-time All-Star Kemba Walker with a growing buzz that the point guard will reach a buyout after being traded to the Detroit Pistons. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that Walker and the Pistons are expected to reach a buyout after the veteran was part of a three-team transaction with the Hornets and Knicks.
“Kemba Walker and the Pistons are expected to discuss a contract buyout that will allow him to become a free agent, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted on June 23, 2022. “Walker landed with Detroit as part of a trade deal with Charlotte and New York.”
Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz linked the Lakers to Walker during his “bold predictions” for free agency. Swartz sees the Lakers’ alluring predicament as enough to win Walker over, despite Los Angeles having no cap space.
While teams like the Washington Wizards, Brooklyn Nets (depending on Kyrie Irving’s future), Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Clippers could all use a different ball handler off the bench, Walker will no doubt get a lot of recruiting from the guys in purple and gold,” explains Swartz. “…The Lakers are extremely limited in what they can spend, so getting Walker for a minimum deal would be a great value, even if he no longer comes close to being the All-Star who we didn’t see until the 2019-20 season Look for Walker to get his buyout from the Pistons and sign with the Lakers for the Veteran minimum while still being paid by the Oklahoma City Thunder and now Detroit .
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Walker on James: ‘LeBron is a different breed’
Walker never really hit it off with the Knicks last season, and the guard has battled injury for the past few years since he was an All-Star with the Hornets and Celtics for four straight seasons. The veteran guard averaged 11.6 points, 3.5 assists and three rebounds while shooting 36.7% from long range in his 37 appearances.
Walker is just one season away from 19.3 points, 4.9 assists and four rebounds per game in 43 games with the Celtics in 2020-21. The former All-NBA player is a longtime fan of LeBron James, who could play a part in trying to recruit Walker to Los Angeles for less money.
“Man, LeBron is a different breed,” Walker noted during a January 2021 interview, per NESN.com. “He’s just incredible. And for the most part it’s inspiring to see someone who only takes care of his body, takes care of himself, always proving every year that the doubters are wrong. Always so much pressure on that man and he always comes through “No matter what is said about him. Like I said, he’s really just an inspiring person in our world. He’s someone everyone looks up to, wants to be. He’s a special talent.”
There’s an ‘expectation’ that Kyrie will find a ‘new home’: report
The Lakers also appear to be keeping an eye on Kyrie Irving’s future, and talks between him and the Nets have stalled. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that the “expectation” is that Irving will find a “new home”, most likely by signing up for the last season of his contract and then pushing for a trade. The NBA insider labeled the Lakers a top candidate to land Irving.
“There is now an expectation that Kyrie Irving will now soon move into finding a new home through an opt-in and trading potential situation,” Charania said on June 23. “And there are several teams that he would probably consider. Some of them I reported earlier this week, if you look at the Lakers, the Knicks, the Clippers. Those are three suitors that are expected to come from probably different teams that are interested would have to acquire Kyrie Irving through sign-and-trade.”
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