This afternoon, the New York Knicks and guard Kemba Walker agreed to sideline him for the remainder of this season. (via Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN)
ESPN Sources: The New York Knicks and guard Kemba Walker have agreed that the four-time All-Star will be sidelined for the remainder of the team’s season. Story: https://t.co/P98Qf8uJB6— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 23, 2022
How Did Kemba Get Here?
Sadly, Kemba Walker’s best days are behind him as he finds himself in a tricky situation with the Knicks. The former all-star has relocated quite a bit during the 2021 offseason. To recap, the Boston Celtics shipped Kemba and draft capital to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Al Horford, Moses Brown, and draft capital. Shortly after, Oklahoma City waived Walker making him an unrestricted free agent. Following that, Kemba inked a two-year deal worth $17.9 million with the New York Knicks.
Walker’s Situation with Knicks
Unfortunately for both parties, this agreement hasn’t panned out as either side anticipated. This season, Walker is averaging a career-low 11.6 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, and 3.0 assists per game, on 50.1 effective field-goal percentage. Evidently, Walker’s usage is at an all-time low as well. To boot, Kemba played a career-low 25.6 minutes per contest and was only involved in 20.8% of possessions (career-low) when on the floor.
However, Walker’s doesn’t deserve all the blame for his mediocre production. New York’s head coach Tom Thibodeau had Kemba in and out of his rotation due to different circumstances. Firstly, the former star was sidelined back in November as he was replaced by Alec Burks and Immanuel Quickley. Unfortunately, the Knicks got blasted with COVID-19 cases along with other injuries. As a result, Thibodeau was forced to throw Walker back in the rotation. Ultimately, Walker had a few great performances, but his underwhelming production headlined his stint with New York. Due to this and guard Derrick Rose soon returning from his ankle injury, Walker was sidelined.
Additionally, there hasn’t been any chatter of New York and Walker in a buyout situation. So, the four-time all-star will focus on getting fully healthy and prepare for what this offseason may bring. Also, Kemba will be entering the 2022-2023 season in the final year of his two-year contract, where he’ll be making approximately $9.1 million. It’s unclear what the New York guard’s trade value is, but one can speculate that he’ll be dealt this Summer.