Antoine Walker Planning Comeback in D-League, League Sources Say
Walker could soon be signing a contract with the NBA Development League, possibly as soon as Monday, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.
Walker, 34, averaged 17.5 points and 7.7 rebounds over the course of his 12-year NBA career but wasn't able to earn an NBA training camp invite with the Charlotte Bobcats earlier this year after showing up to practice with them in September, a career move that seemingly signaled the end of domestic relevance for the former three-point 'shimmy'er.
While it isn't surprising that Walker wasn't able to earn a training camp spot with the Bobcats amid their glut of tweener forwards, ESPN's Marc Stein reported at the time that Walker was in very good shape, reporting that multiple witnesses who had seen Walker playing and working out with famed trainer Tim Grover in Chicago said "that Walker looks as fit as he has for some time."
If Walker continued to stay in shape, and one would believe that is probably the case considering his need to make a bit of cash in light of some recent legal trouble, the D-League might be the best option for him. He'll be able to show that he is serious about an NBA comeback and staying in shape -- two issues that might not have been as evident to NBA decision makers had he opted to play overseas.
One would have to believe that once Walker shows that he can still play basketball at a reasonably high level, he would be near the top of the call-up list considering his skill set and knowledge of what to do in clutch situations.
Walker's most recent professional playing experience came in March as he played eight games in Puerto Rico with the Mets de Guaynabo and averaged 12.4 points and 8.6 rebounds, though he hit just six of his 27 attempts from beyond the arc on a team that also featured former NBA player Marcus Fizer.
In his last season in the NBA, Walker averaged 8.0 points and 3.7 rebounds for the Timberwolves during the 2007-08 season. He signed with the Memphis Grizzlies the following season, but was waived in December without playing a single game for the team.
Despite being drafted as the sixth overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics, Walker would not become the oldest player playing in the NBA Development League. That honor would go to Antonio Daniels, the fourth pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. Daniels currently plays for the Texas Legends and is currently working toward an NBA comeback himself.