The Dallas Mavericks Have Boosted Their Backcourt by Acquiring Kemba Walker

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dallas mavericks
dallas mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks signed veteran guard Kemba Walker to fill a glaring hole in their supporting cast for Luka Doncic. Dallas released Facundo Campazzo, a backup point guard whose contract wasn’t guaranteed, to make room for Walker. The Mavericks made Walker’s signing official on Tuesday.

Coach Jason Kidd said before Tuesday night’s game against Golden State that the team hoped to have Walker back on the court for Wednesday’s practice. Since Feb. 16, he hasn’t played.

Dallas signed Walker when it was in the middle of a losing streak of four games and a stretch of seven games in 11 days. It will be a while before the team has more than one day off.

“Kidd said, “The train never stops.” “We’ll bring him up to speed. He’s a vet. He used to play in this league. And we’ll try to put him in a place where he can do well.”

Walker, who is 32 years old and has been an All-Star four times, was let go by the Detroit Pistons in the middle of October and is now a free agent. Last season, he played in 37 games for the New York Knicks and averaged 11.6 points and 3.5 assists.

On draught night, the Knicks traded him to the Pistons to save money, which made it possible for the Knicks to sign former Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson in free agency.

Doncic leads the NBA in scoring with 33.1 points per game, but opponents are trapping and double-teaming him more and more to get the ball out of his hands and daring his teammates to beat them.

The Mavs have had trouble scoring when Doncic is on the bench. When he isn’t on the floor, they average only 104.0 points per 100 possessions. They are 0-6 when he doesn’t score 30 points, including a loss to the Houston Rockets when Doncic stayed home to rest.

The Mavs tried to sign Walker to a maximum contract during his 2019 free agency, but he chose to take a similar offer from the Boston Celtics. He averaged 22.8 points and 5.6 assists in two injury-plagued seasons for the Celtics.

The Celtics traded Walker and a first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Al Horford. Walker got a buyout from the Thunder, which allowed him to sign a two-year deal with the Knicks.

Walker’s time with the Knicks ended unofficially during the All-Star break when the team announced that he would no longer play for them. He sat out the last two months of the season.

Walker has been training in Florida this season while waiting for a chance to sign with an NBA team.

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“I’m just making sure I’m right, making sure I’m ready and making sure I’m ready for whenever someone gives me that call,” Walker said on “The Woj Pod” earlier this month. “I only know that I have the ability to help someone or a team. I know that I can still play basketball at a high level.”

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