NBA: Kemba Walker won’t return to the Knicks this season
The New York Knicks and Kemba Walker were in agreement Wednesday that the four-time All-Star guard will not return to the team this season in order to begin his preparation for 2022-23.
“We fully support Kemba’s decision to shut it down for the remainder of the season and to use this time to prepare for next season,” Knicks president Leon Rose said in a statement. “His long-term success on the court remains our priority.”
Walker, 31, signed a two-year contract with New York after an August buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But his time in New York has been a bumpy ride.
Walker made 37 starts for the Knicks, averaging a career-low 11.6 points with 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds. He missed 10 games after being dropped from the rotation by coach Tom Thibodeau in late November, then missed 10 more games from Dec. 31-Jan. 17 with a knee issue.
According to ESPN, the Knicks plan to work with Walker’s agent, Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports, to look for a trade partner in the offseason.
Walker has career averages of 19.5 points, 5.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 741 games (696 starts) with Charlotte (2011-19), Boston (2019-21) and New York.
The Knicks (25-34) are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference. They return from the All-Star break to host the Miami Heat on Friday night, with injured guard Derrick Rose expected back soon.
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