Five-year NBA veteran Henry Walker has signed with the Amerileague, the league announced (hat tip to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders). It’s a milestone of sorts for the six-team startup minor league, as Walker is the first of its signees who saw regular season action in the NBA last season. Walker, Josh Selby, Terrence Williams, Dajuan Wagner, Royce White, David Harrison and Antoine Wright are among those with NBA experience in the more distant past to join the Amerileague, Kennedy notes (Twitter link). Walker, who turned 28 last week, started 13 times in his 24-game stint with the Heat last season.
Walker joined Miami on a pair of 10-day contracts that led to a deal for the rest of the season with a non-guaranteed 2015/16 included. It was his first time back in the NBA since 2011/12, and the Mike Naiditch client made the most of it, as his 26.2 minutes per game for the Heat were a career high. Miami nonetheless released him in July, but Sam Amico reported soon after for Hoops Rumors that the Blazers had interest in the swingman.
The Amerileague is reportedly handing out salaries worth up to as much as $50K per month, about twice what the most well-compensated D-League players make. It’s not immediately clear if Walker will see that sort of money, but those salaries make the Amerileague more competitive with European teams. That helps explain why veterans like Walker are joining. The D-League has instead largely been the purview of younger, less-experienced players willing to sacrifice money for a chance to play with NBA-affiliated organizations.
Do you think the Amerileague will last for the long term as a legitimate minor league? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.
4 thoughts on “Henry Walker Signs With Amerileague”
Why not…maybe they’ll work they way back into the NBA
If he continues to do what he did last year, he will get back to the NBA. Unfortunately, he wasn’t knocking down shots he was capable of making while with the Heat. Despite all the other things he did well, at the end of the day, it’s a make or miss league. You don’t make shots, and maybe have a similar skill set to someone else, you find yourself without a roster spot
Antoine Walker needs to get in on this
I hope the league can make it, or at least something like it… These young athletes need a realistic option other than universities who are nothing but corporations profiting off of these kids.
But I think without a sound television contract in hand, or an arrangement to stream the games via the net, it will be difficult. Even with as much strong planning as it looks has taken place…
I’d also think that like the NBA did when Isiah Thomas took over the CBA, they’d go out of their way to be sure the new league had it’s share of difficulties.
It will be interesting to see what the NBA’s stance on this new league is once it gets underway. That will ultimately be crucial. Seems to me the NBA wants the system as it is. And if anyone but them tampers with it it’s likely they won’t respond well.
Best case scenario for the Amerileague is if the NBA not only commends them, but if they actually endorse them, or back them financially. But it doesn’t seem likely with Adam Silver in place, who appears to have doubled down on David Sterns call for players to attend college for a year.
Silver has spoke of a two year gap from high school for players to enter the NBA, so this one will eventually be a matter for the NBAPA to deal with. But this new Amerileague, if nothing else, will push the conversation in the right direction.