Kemba Walker on Hornets’ Exit: “I Wasn’t Going to Get the Offer That I Wanted”

Kemba Walker with Charlotte Hornets in 2017
Kemba Walker with Charlotte Hornets in 2017. Photo by Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

All-Star point guard Kemba Walker was one of the most prominent players that switched teams in free agency this year. Walker decided to leave Charlotte Hornets, where he spent all eight seasons of his NBA career, and sign with the Boston Celtics.

Although Walker previously stated that he made the move due to sports reasons, it turns out that some financial reasons played part in the decision as well. Talking with the Athletic on Wednesday, the 29-year-old player said that Hornets never came to him with an offer he expected.

“Tough days, I can’t even lie,” – said Walker when asked about leaving Charlotte. “It was difficult. I couldn’t see myself just being on another team. It was just hard. That’s all I’ve known was Charlotte. Definitely some tough times. I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to get the offer that I wanted, and maybe not close to it, because of cap space.”

Hornets were in the position to give Kemba Walker a super-max contract worth around $221 million this summer, but according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the team opted against making such offer. Charlotte reportedly went well below this number and was offering five-years, $160 million to the player. Walker instead decided to take four-years, $142 million deal from the Boston Celtics.

Walker averaged 25.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game last season en route to his third All-Star appearance and first All-NBA honors.