Kemba Walker Finalizing Contract Buyout with Thunder, Will Sign with Knicks

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, star guard Kemba Walker is finalizing a contract buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder after being traded to OKC prior to the 2021 NBA Draft.

Walker will subsequently sign a contract with the New York Knicks as a free agent.

These past three seasons have been a roller coaster for star guard Walker, who went from the face of the Charlotte Hornets to a vital piece of the Boston Celtics future to a Celtics castaway in a relatively short period of time.

Upon being acquired by the Thunder, it was always presumed his time with the rebuilding franchise would be short-lived due to his age (31-years-old) and his desire to play for a contender.

The Knicks, having reached the postseason for the first time in seven seasons thanks to a 41-31 record in 2020-21, are seen as one of the league’s up-and-coming teams. Despite a disappointing showing against the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, that remains the case.

Adding a point guard of Walker’s caliber has long been seen as one of the Knicks’ main priorities and, though injuries and shifting roles have led to uncharacteristically substandard performances by Kemba, he’ll play a vital role for New York going forward.

The four-time All-Star averaged 19.3 points and 4.9 assists per game last season, while shooting 42.0 percent from the field and 36.0 percent from 3-point range.

He was due $73.6 million over the next two seasons.