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Monday, June 1, 2020

Report: Hornets offered Kemba Walker significantly less than max contract

Kemba Walker

The Charlotte Hornets have the ability to offer Kemba Walker a contract that no other team could come close to matching, but they clearly do not value the star point guard enough to use that to their advantage.

By being named to an All-NBA team this past season, Walker became eligible to sign a five-year, $221 million supermax contract with the Hornets. They could also offer him a regular max deal which would be worth $190 million over five years. The most any other team can offer Walker is a four-year, $140 million contract. However, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reports that Charlotte’s best offer to this point was $160 million over five years.

That means the Hornets offered Walker only $20 million more in total money than he can get from another team. If those figures are accurate, Charlotte’s offer would be worth about $3 million less from an average annual value standpoint than a max contract he could get from another team. It’s no surprise, then, that both Smith and his colleague Adrian Wojnarowski are reporting that Walker is expected to sign with the Celtics.

The Hornets have never paid luxury tax during Michael Jordan’s tenure as owner of the team, and it makes no sense to start now. They already know what they can be with Walker, which is a borderline playoff team that probably won’t advance past the first round. Walker may simply be more valuable to a team like the Celtics than he is to the Hornets.

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