Case for Dallas Mavericks trading Kristaps Porzingis for Kemba Walker
Kemba was an iron man in Charlotte. He missed just 33 of the team’s 638 games during his first eight seasons in the NBA. Walker sat out 45 of the Celtics 144 regular-season games in the last two years. Knee injuries have been the culprit, including forcing him to miss Boston’s final two playoff games in 2021.
The Mavericks need someone that can handle the ball and make plays to lighten Luka Doncic’s load. The 22-year-old averaged 35.7 points per game in the playoffs on 49.0 percent shooting from the field, but he put up just 5.7 points per in the fourth quarter on 34.9 percent. Doncic was gassed from carrying Dallas on his back. Adding another capable ball-handler and creator could be massive for the Mavericks.
Kemba has proven he can produce in the playoffs. He averaged 19.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists over 17 games in the 2020 bubble playoffs as the Celtics reached the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Miami Heat.
Kemba Walker also has one fewer season on his contract. He is set to make $36 million next season with a $37.6 million player option for the 2022-2023 season. Kristaps Porzingis has a $36 million player option in 2023-2024. The Mavericks would have one fewer year on their books by adding Walker.
Next: Case against trading KP for Kemba