The Kemba Walker era in Detroit might almost be over

There is a report that the Charlotte Hornets may want to have a reunion with one of the franchises’ all-time greats, Kemba Walker. At the moment, the four-time all-star is still under contract with the Detroit Pistons.

Do not run out and buy your teal Kemba Walker, Detroit Pistons uniform just yet.

They say ‘You can’t go home again’ but the Hornets may disagree with that statement. According to Shams Charina of The Athletic (PAID SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED), Charlotte is looking seriously at the possibility of bringing back a major icon: guard Kemba Walker.

Walker, who at 6-foot-1 could score inside as well as from the perimeter, despite his size, played for Charlotte from 2011-2019. He averaged 19.8 points and was named All-NBA in 2019. The Bobcats/Hornets were not very good for most of that time. The only real reason for fans to go to games was to see Walker in action.

The past two seasons have seen Walker deal with knee problems, limiting him to 37 games with the New York Knicks last season. His contract for next year was part of a salary dump, as New York sent Walker to the Pistons.

You do not have to be an expert analyst to figure out the Pistons have absolutely no need for Walker’s skills. With Jaden Ivey joining a backcourt already boasting Cade Cunningham, Killian Hayes, Cory Joseph and Hamidou Diallo, an older guard with bad knees does not fit.

The Pistons realize it too, that is why a buyout of Walker has reportedly been agree upon.

But the buyout has not officially been processed, so Walker’s rights are still with the Pistons.

The Hornets are looking for a backup point guard to LaMelo Ball. Assuming the buyout goes through, Walker (assuming he can pass a physical), would be a pretty good candidate.

The theory has been that the buyout, which was leaked almost a month ago at this point, has not been finalized are for two reasons:

  1. Having the Walker contract on the books gives the Pistons some additional flexibility in terms of the salary cap if they want to make additional moves. They can always lower the cap number by pushing through the buyout.
  2. No point in a buyout if Walker has nowhere to go.

There has been no information since the buyout announcement that either party has had second thoughts. But, it does seem a bit odd that the transaction has not yet been made official.

There is no advantage in bringing Walker to training camp. There are also other repercussions to Walker still being a Piston.

It means that Kevin Knox, who reportedly has agreed to a two-year deal with Detroit, can not be put on the roster yet, as there is no open slot until Walker is gone.

The Pistons took Walker’s contract merely to help the Knicks clear cap space to sign Jalen Brunson (who Detroit had made an earlier run to get).

General manager Troy Weaver has attempted to make the Pistons a player-friendly team. If  he agreed to buy out Walker, he will keep his word. And if the Hornets want him, that could speed up the paperwork.