The Los Angeles Lakers could be looking to add another ball-handler to their roster for the stretch run of the 2022-23 season.
Sources tell Lakers Daily that the Lakers are considering bringing in Kemba Walker for a workout. The team is looking for another ball-handler with LeBron James expected to miss extended time due to a foot injury.
It was reported that the team is bracing for James to miss the stretch run of the 2022-23 season, which puts a lot of pressure on Anthony Davis, D’Angelo Russell (who currently is dealing with an ankle injury) and others to keep Los Angeles alive in the play-in tournament race in the Western Conference.
Walker, who last played for the Dallas Mavericks in the 2022-23 season, has not been the same player over the past few seasons after dealing with chronic knee issues.
A four-time All-Star, Walker appeared in nine games for Dallas this season, making one start. He averaged 8.0 points, 2.1 assists and 1.8 rebounds per game for the Mavericks while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from 3-point range.
Boston traded Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder following the 2020-21 season, but he was bought out by the team and eventually signed with the Knicks. New York planned on Walker being the team’s starting point guard, but he was limited to injuries.
During the 2021-22 season, Walker appeared in 37 games for New York (all starts) and averaged 11.6 points per game. The Knicks traded Walker in the offseason to the Detroit Pistons. He was later waived by the team.
There’s no guarantee that the Lakers will sign Walker if they bring him in for a workout, but he could be a valuable veteran depth piece if they do.
Right now, Los Angeles has Russell and Dennis Schroder as its primary options at the point guard position. With Russell injured and James sidelined, adding another lead guard to run the offense could help the Lakers down the stretch of this season.
The concerns with Walker would be his defensive ability as a smaller guard and his durability. Still, it’s unlikely the Lakers would be asking him to take on a major role. In his nine games with Dallas this season, Walker played just 16.0 minutes per game.
The Lakers (30-33) currently hold the No. 11 spot in the Western Conference. Even with James out, the Lakers have a legit shot to move up the standings, sitting just one game back of the No. 10 seed New Orleans Pelicans and two games back of the No. 7 seed Los Angeles Clippers.