DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks released guard Kemba Walker a day before the four-time All-Star was guaranteed a salary for the rest of the season, the team announced Friday morning.
Walker, 32, averaged 8.0 points and 2.1 assists in nine games with the Mavericks. He signed for the Veterans Minimum in late November.
The highlight of Walker’s tenure in Dallas was a 32-point performance in a 100–99 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 17, when Mavs starting guards Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie sat out.
The Mavs decided not to keep Walker in large part because McKinley Wright IV, a defensive-minded guard with a two-way contract, recently gained rotation minutes on him. Dallas wants to keep playing time open for second-rounder Jaden Hardy, who is averaging 28.8 points per game in the G League this season and scored 15 points in 15 minutes in Thursday’s loss to the Boston Celtics.
Dallas will have one spot open on its roster and will consider candidates for 10-day contracts.
Walker spent the first six weeks of the season coaching on his own after receiving a buyout from the Detroit Pistons, who acquired him in an off-season trade with the New York Knicks. This is the second buyout Walker, who has dealt with knee problems, has received since signing a max contract with the Celtics in the 2019 season.