How the Mavericks can help Kemba Walker’s career get back on track

What Kemba Walker brings to the Mavericks:

Why the former All-Star point guard can defy his age and fill a big hole next to Luka Doncic

It took some time, but Kemba Walker has finally found a place to play in the NBA.

As NBA insider Marc Stein said on Monday, the Mavericks will trade for Walker. Walker has been looking for a new team since he was traded from New York to Detroit on draught night. The Pistons never expected Walker to show up, so they let him go before the season so he could sign with another team.

The news comes a quarter of the way through the 2022–2023 season. Dallas has had a rough start to the season, even though MVP candidate Luka Doncic has been playing great. Aside from Doncic, the rest of the Mavericks’ team isn’t very good, which is why they got off to a bad start after making it to the Western Conference Finals in 2022.

Walker has been chosen for the All-Star team four times in his career, but he is now 32 years old and has had a lot of problems with staying healthy in recent years. Walker won’t be expected to fix everything in Dallas by himself, but how much does he have left to give the Mavs?

How Kemba Walker’s game is right now

Even though the high points were high, they didn’t happen very often, and the low points were much lower.

Walker started every one of his first 18 games with New York, but in late November, he was taken out of the rotation for good. After injuries and COVID-19 made it hard for the Knicks to play, he finally got some chances to play in December.

Walker deserves credit for staying ready through the ups and downs, but his short time back on the field was cut short by knee problems in early January. Walker and the Knicks decided to end their relationship in February.

Walker’s last NBA game was on Feb. 16.

Even though Walker hasn’t been seen in almost 10 months, the deal was made to last a long time. Walker missed 16 games in 2019-20 and 29 games in 2020-21 because of knee problems. In 2021, he could only play in three of the five playoff games.

Walker’s ability to help Dallas depends a lot on how well his troublesome knee is.

In what ways could Kemba Walker help the Mavericks?

This season, it’s no secret that the Mavericks have been trying to fill a hole left by Jalen Brunson. Brunson left the Mavs and joined the Knicks as a free agent in July. Last season, he started in 61 of Dallas’s 79 games and, along with Doncic, was a secondary creator, averaging 16.3 points and 4.8 assists on good shooting splits.

Walker, whose career averages are 19.5 points and 5.3 assists, can’t fill that void on his own anymore, but he can help Dallas make up for that lost production by working with other players.

In addition to Spencer Dinwiddie, who was added to the Mavs’ starting lineup this season, Walker will be expected to create for himself and others to make things easier for Doncic. Dinwiddie will stay in the starting lineup, so Walker’s main job will be to make plays with players in the second unit. Christian Wood, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, JaVale McGee, and Josh Green will lead this group.

Walker can play both on and off the ball when he is on the court with Doncic.

Walker’s ability to handle the ball and make plays when he has it can help Doncic, whose usage rate is 36.9% at this point in the season, get some rest.

Walker is still a good catch-and-shoot threat when he doesn’t have the ball. Walker made 27 of 66 catch-and-shoot 3s with the Knicks last season, which is 40.9%. This should help him in Dallas, where nearly half of Doncic’s assists lead to 3s.

Walker is a smart player who shouldn’t have much trouble learning Jason Kidd’s new system in Dallas. Walker could help Dallas in a lot of different ways, but it all depends on his health and what the 32-year-old has left to give.

Leave a Comment