The Charlotte Hornets essentially had two options this offseason: Pay Kemba Walker and remain, at best, a fringe postseason team, or let him walk and enter a full-fledged rebuild.
As you know by now, they chose the latter option.
Because Walker was an All-NBA selection this past season, he was eligible for a five-year, $221 million supermax deal with the Hornets. A regular max deal from Charlotte would’ve been five years, $190 million.
Instead, they reportedly shot well low of both figures, and Walker landed with the Boston Celtics on a four-year, $141 million deal.
So what was the Hornets’ top offer for Walker? The star point guard spoke at length with The Athletic’s Shams Charania about the offseason, and Charania tucked into the story what he was told the Hornets’ best offer was.
Wrote Charania: “The Hornets’ best offer to Walker was just under $160 million over five years, league sources told The Athletic.”
Walker expressed a desire to stay in Charlotte and was willing to take less than the max, but that is a borderline laughable lowball, so you can’t knock the 29-year-old for saying thanks but no thanks. Now, he will make more than if he took that deal with the Hornets, and he gets to play with a contender.
Thumbnail photo via Raj Mehta/USA TODAY Sports Images