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Pistons reportedly still talking buyout with Kemba Walker

Oklahoma City Thunder v New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Kemba Walker #8 of the New York Knicks smiles during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 14, 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

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There were reports of interest in a reunion in Charlotte, plus whispers of other teams being interested in signing Kemba Walker once the Pistons buy him out and he becomes a free agent.

Except, that buyout has yet to happen. James Edwards III wrote about it at The Athletic.

“I reported that the plan for the Pistons was to buy out Walker and let him become a free agent. That still is what Detroit wants to happen. The holdup isn’t on the Pistons’ end, though. For the Pistons to not pay the entire $9 million due to the veteran point guard this season, the two sides must agree on a buyout number that works for both parties a number for Walker that still gives him a good chunk of the money owed while allowing him to find a better situation, and a number for the Pistons that allows them to get a little bit of a discount to let Walker run free.

“Per sources, the Pistons and Walker had agreed on a number, which was a few million less than what he’s owed.”

So why hasn’t it happened? Edwards makes a logical leap: Walker hasn’t found a new home yet. Traditionally, players give up in a buyout the amount they would sign for with another team, that way the player stays whole financially and the team saves millions ($2.7 million in Walker’s case). However, if Walker hasn’t found a new home yet, he could be out the money if he accepts a buyout, so he hasn’t yet.

That could change as teams round out their rosters heading into training camp, or get to camp and realize they need a reserve point guard. If Walker is ready to accept that role. Last season in New York he averaged 11.6 points and 3.5 assists a night, but in just 37 games before knee problems sidelined him. If he can hold up physically he could help a team in a limited bench role, but is a team willing to bet on his health?

The Pistons don’t need him with Cade Cunningham, Cory Joseph and Killian Hayes on the roster.

Look for Walker rumors to pop up until he eventually signs with a team. The Pistons are ready to buy him out whenever that team steps forward.