Less than seven months after signing a two-year deal to return to his home city, Kemba Walker and the New York Knicks have agreed to sideline the four-time All-Star for the remainder of the season, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
Statement from New York Knicks President Leon Rose on Kemba Walker pic.twitter.com/n0dpbJd2zl— NY_KnicksPR (@NY_KnicksPR) February 23, 2022
After Tom Thibodeau removed him from the rotation in late November – sidelining him for 10 days – Walker struggled to find a solid footing in New York, continuing to slide in and out of the Knicks’ lineup in January after injuries and COVID-19 cases persuaded Thibodeau to reinsert Walker into the rotation.
The 31-year-old guard will be on an expiring contract this summer. At the same time, the move allows him to train in anticipation of playing in a new city come the 2022-23 season, while management and Walker’s agent work through trade scenarios for the upcoming offseason.
The Bronx native had averaged 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 3.5 dimes in 37 games this season before being sidelined, including a 44-point performance in the Knicks’ loss to the Washington Wizards just days after being reinserted into the lineup.
Following two months on the sidelines recovering from ankle surgery, the Knicks expect Derrick Rose to return to the lineup soon, while Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish, and Ryan Arcidiacono’s minutes and production as the primary ball handlers will surely increase in Walker’s absence.