Appearing on Thursday on The Ticket Sportradio 96.7 FM in Dallas, Mavericks president of basketball operations Nico Harrison said that newly signed point guard Kemba Walker will need about one week to get game-ready, since he hasn’t played since February and didn’t have a training camp. Harrison also made some rather candid remarks when asked about Walker’s long-standing knee issue, as Josh Bowe of Mavs Moneyball relays.
“It’s not good, it’s not good at all,” Harrison said of the knee. “But he’s rehabbed it. And it’s actually the best he’s felt in the last two years, so we’ll see how long that lasts.”
When it was pointed out to him that “it’s not good” wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Walker’s health, Harrison explained that he was referring more to how the injury has hampered the former All-Star in recent seasons, rather than assessing the current state of Walker’s knee.
“It hasn’t been good for a few years,” Harrison said. “Even last year, he had 30-point games on it. But it actually feels better now. The reality is, if you look at it, it’s just not good. But that doesn’t mean he can’t play on it.”
Here’s more on the Mavs:
- Mavericks big man Christian Wood has been ruled out for Saturday afternoon’s game vs. New York due to a non-COVID illness, the team announced (via Twitter). With Wood unavailable, Dallas figures to lean more on Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber. It’s possible that JaVale McGee, who has been out of the rotation as of late, will also see a little playing time.
- After ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins predicted during an NBA Today segment that the Mavericks will miss the playoffs if they don’t make a deal to give Luka Doncic more help, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski observed that the team’s trade assets are somewhat limited (YouTube video link). Wojnarowski expects any trades the Mavs make before this season’s deadline to be “marginal” or “slight” upgrades.
- Part of the Mavs’ problem, according to Wojnarowski, is that they haven’t drafted well over the years, with the exception of 2018, when they selected Doncic and Jalen Brunson. Doncic was the first Dallas first-rounder to get a rookie scale extension since 2003 draftee Josh Howard, while the team mishandled the Brunson situation and ended up losing him for nothing.