How Newly Signed Kemba Walker Sees Himself Fitting In With The Dallas Mavericks

He hasn’t played a single minute, but Kemba Walker is already making waves in Dallas. The Dallas Mavericks officially announced the signing of Walker on Tuesday, and he attended the team’s 116-113 win at home over the Golden State Warriors.

The pairing of Walker and the Mavericks appears to be a perfect match, on paper at least. Dallas has been looking for a capable third point guard to help run its offense while Walker, a former four-time All-Star, has been itching to make his NBA comeback. Several years after rumors surfaced that the Mavs would pursue Walker in free agency—he says he didn’t know about them—fate has seemingly brought them together.

“I’m feeling a lot of gratitude,” Walker told the media Wednesday. “By the grace of God, I’m here. I’ve been working extremely hard. In the meantime, I’ve been preparing myself for this day. I’m excited. I’m excited to be here. This is a great opportunity for me. It’s a different journey. I’m super happy, man.”

It’s been a whirlwind few days for Walker. He says he first got a call from the Mavericks over the weekend. In a matter of days, he went from watching games on TV, continuing to study the game, to landing in Dallas and inking a veteran’s minimum contract.

Walker signed a Rest-of-Season contract with Dallas. Because the organization could only offer him a veteran’s minimum, Walker will earn $2,905,851 because of his 10-plus years in the NBA.

“He’s been an All-Star in this league, he’s a veteran, knows how to play the game the right way,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said before the game against the Warriors. “You look at the things that he can do; he can get you a basket. So, we’re lucky to have him.”

Walker stands to play a significant role in Dallas—potentially. Once he got the call from the front office, he says he started watching Mavericks games, starting with their game against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, November 26. Dallas lost that game, but Walker was watching to see where he could best fit in and help the team.

“I think just adding another guy who can create for others and myself,” Walker said about where he can fit in. “I think I can help in that aspect. Just help take a little pressure off—Luka [Doncic] really doesn’t need any pressure taken off him. The kid is special.

“Just maybe helping with Spence [Spencer Dinwiddie] a little bit, who’s been killing it this year. I’ve been having the opportunity to watch him. You know with some of the young guys like Josh [Green] and things like that, I could maybe be that extra ball handler, another guy open and just create.”

With Doncic’s usage at 38% and Dinwiddie’s playing time with the other starters producing negative net ratings a quarter of the way through the season, Walker has the potential to shake up Dallas’ rotation dramatically. There’s no guarantee that he will, though. He still has to prove that his knee injuries are behind him and that he can be effective on the floor.

For now, he provides a degree of hope for the Mavericks, who are reeling from a poor offseason. Walker might not be the same player that rumors linked them to in 2019, nor is he the perfect answer to Dallas’ prayers, but he brings a degree of experience that is hard to find and replicate. The two need each other right now, and that common bond has the potential to breed trust and foster future success.

“I’m here now,” Walker said. “I know it’s kind of a different situation, a different time. Hopefully, it can work out.”