Welp, we can cross another 2011 draftee off the list of players currently looking for their first big, post-rookie scale contract. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Hornets guard Kemba Walker has agreed to a four-year, $48 million extension that will go into effect starting with the 2015-16 season.
USA Today‘s Sam Amick confirms the report:
Kemba, who turned 24 in May, finished his third season in Charlotte averaging 17.7 points and a career high 6.1 assists in 35.8 minutes per game. While he saw his first playoff run when the Heat swept the surprising then-Bobcats in the first round last spring, his shooting dipped in his third year to a subpar 39.3 percent, though he did shoot a career high 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. His player efficiency rating also declined in his third year from 18.8 to 16.8, though the latter number is still above average.
Majority owner Michael Jordan told the Charlotte Observer earlier Tuesday it was his objective to get Walker signed to an extension before the Halloween deadline on Friday at midnight.
“I’d much rather get Kemba done before the season starts,” Jordan told the Observer earlier today. “Ultimately that’s what I intend to accomplish. We’re in real conversations. I’m hopeful. Really hopeful.”
It looks like they’ve got him locked up, though those shooting numbers are a minor cause for concern.
Kemba is one of a calvacade of players drafted in 2011 who are due extensions by midnight Friday. The others include Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors, Tristan Thompson and the Cleveland Cavaliers Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs, Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls, Reggie Jackson and the Oklahoma City Thunder, Brandon Knight and the Milwaukee Bucks, and Tobias Harris and the Orlando Magic. If any team fails to reach an agreement on an extension by the Friday deadline, they risk losing their players in restricted free agency next summer.
The four-year deal will pay Walker the exact same amount over the next four years as Kyle Lowry signed with the Raptors this summer. If you look at their numbers last season, you can see Lowry’s Raptors team was far superior offensively when he was on the court than Kemba was with the Bobcats.
Was this a good deal for Charlotte and Walker?
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