Mavs plan to sign Kemba Walker before Saturday’s face-off with Knicks

knicks, kemba walker

Kemba Walker is on a collision course with his former and hometown team New York Knicks this weekend.

Walker and the Dallas Mavericks are nearing the completion of a deal pending physical examinations, according to Marc Stein. The Mavericks would have to waive Facundo Campazzo to open up a spot for the former Knicks point guard.

If completed this week, Walker should be in Dallas uniform when the Mavericks visit the Knicks on a Saturday matinee.

Walker’s NBA comeback will add another layer to the already intriguing subplot of the Knicks-Mavericks face-off.

Jalen Brunson will face the Mavericks for the first time this season after leaving them in free agency.

Brunson’s departure left Dallas a gaping hole, one of the primary reasons the Mavericks are off to a slow start. Currently mired in a four-game losing streak, the Mavericks are out of the play-in picture with a 9-10 record entering this week.

The Mavericks are hoping Walker can partly address the Brunson void as a primary ball handler and as added perimeter threat off the bench.

Walker’s storybook signing with his hometown team ended in a nightmare as he was out of the rotation after the first 20 games. His knee issues and struggles in an off-the-ball role led to career lows in scoring (11.6 points), assists (3.5) and minutes (25.6). After the All-Star break, he elected to stay away from the team. The Knicks subsequently traded him to the Detroit Pistons — a move that helped them open up the cap space to land Brunson.

Brunson signed a $104 million, four-year deal with the Knicks to replace the ineffective Walker at the point. The former Luka Doncic co-star is enjoying a career season with the Knicks, proving that he could run his team, an opportunity the Mavericks could not afford him.

On the other hand, the 32-year-old Walker just wants an opportunity to play again. Two years removed from his last All-Star appearance, Walker is no longer seeking a starting role, but he’s confident he can still play at a high level in spurts.

“I’ve got something in the tank, for sure. I feel great. I’m going to be honest. I’m going to have my opportunity. I’m not in any rush right now. I’m just grinding and trying to feel as good as I can. And right now, I feel great. I feel as good as I’ve felt in a long time. I’m just waiting for the opportunity.”

Kemba Walker via Boston Globe

Doncic will still be the main attraction, but the two small guards — Walker and Brunson — with giant chips on their shoulders will be out to steal the spotlight.

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