When the Detroit Pistons had to take on Kemba Walker as part of their draft trade with the Knicks, it was thought that he would be bought out.
In fact, it was reported as if it had already happened, with people speculating which team would swoop in and get him for nothing after the Pistons paid him off to play for someone else.
We are all just assuming that Walker will be one of those cuts, as the 32-year-old is not a great roster fit and is coming of a serious injury that had him looking washed. He’s only played 136 games combined over the last three seasons, so it makes sense for the Pistons to cut ties.
The Detroit Pistons probably will end up buying out Kemba Walker, but it is smart to hold onto him for now for a couple of reasons.
Detroit Pistons: Kemba Walker could have value
Walker is definitely in the latter stages of his career, but he’s only making $9.1 million next season and may have some value to the Pistons as a veteran bench player if they were to waive someone like Saben Lee or make another trade.
The Pistons already have a lot of guards, but no veterans with Walker’s pedigree as a four-time All-Star.
In just 37 games last season, Walker scored a career-low 11.6 points per game, but the season before that he averaged 19 and the season before that he put up over 20 points per game.
If he is healthy, it’s possible Walker still has something left in the tank, at least enough to be a scoring threat off someone’s bench.
It probably won’t be the Pistons’ bench, but that doesn’t mean they should simply give him away and actually pay him to play for another team, something owner Tom Gores is probably getting sick of doing after watching millions of dead money get sucked out of his pockets over the last few seasons.
There are teams out there that will undoubtedly need veteran depth this offseason and once all of the desirable free agents are off the board, could come asking about the availability of Kemba Walker.
Could he net the Pistons a second-round pick? Possibly. Even if not, it’s worth waiting to find out, as some team might get desperate enough for bench help and Walker is a known commodity.
In the end, it’s likely the Detroit Pistons will pay to send Kemba Walker packing, but they don’t have to be in a hurry, and can wait to see if he ends up having value to them or someone else.