Mavs unclear on timeline for Walker as 4-time All-Star signs
DALLAS (AP) — The timeline for Kemba Walker to contribute for the Dallas Mavericks is uncertain as the four-time All-Star joins a roster in need of playmaking help behind superstar Luka Doncic.
Walker went unsigned the first six weeks of the season before the 32-year-old guard was officially added by Dallas on Tuesday. Plagued by knee injuries in recent years, Walker hasn’t played since Feb. 16.
Speaking before Tuesday night’s game against Golden State, coach Jason Kidd said the club hoped to get Walker on the court for practice Wednesday.
Dallas signed Walker in the midst of a four-game losing streak and a stretch of seven games in 11 days before the next time the team gets multiple days off.
“The train doesn’t stop,” Kidd said. “We’ll get him caught up to speed. He’s a vet. He’s been in this league. And we’ll hopefully put him in a position that he can be successful.”
The skid dropped the Mavericks under .500 after going to the Western Conference finals last season.
Dallas lost Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency after he flourished playing next to Doncic, and Brunson played a big role in playoff victories without the three-time All-Star.
The loss of Brunson also cost the Mavericks one of their two primary ballhandlers behind Doncic. Spencer Dinwiddie has had to carry most of that load this season.
The shooters around Doncic also have been struggling, with Dorian Finney-Smith, Reggie Bullock and Tim Hardaway Jr. going in and out of slumps so far.
Walker was limited to 37 games last season, his only one with the New York Knicks, because of knee issues that have been affecting him for years.
The No. 9 overall pick in 2011, Walker blossomed as an All-Star in the last three of eight seasons with Charlotte before he signed as a free agent with Boston.
Walker played most of the pandemic-altered 2019-20 season, the last of five consecutive seasons in which he averaged at least 20 points per game. It was also the last of his four All-Star nods.
Walker played just 43 games in his second season with the Celtics before an offseason trade to the Knicks.
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