Traded from Boston to Oklahoma City in June, Kemba Walker will hit the free market agent following a buyout from the Thunder and will sign with his hometown New York Knicks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Walker’s agents with Excel Sports Management, Jeff Schwartz and Javon Phillips, worked to come to an agreement on a buyout of the two years and $74 million remaining on Walker’s contract,” Woj wrote. “He can now slide into New York’s roughly $10 million in remaining salary-cap space, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks.”
The move to the Knicks comes just days after the Knicks threw almost $80 million at ex-Celtics guard Evan Fournier, giving New York a starting backcourt of Walker and Fournier.
Walker, meanwhile, will look to put himself back on the map as a high-impact scorer after knee issues outright ruined his Boston tenure, namely when the games mattered most, as Walker admitted in his season-end media availability.
“It’s tough,” Walker, who missed the final two games of the C’s first-round series loss to the Brooklyn Nets due to a bone bruise in his knee, said prior to his trade to the Thunder. “It’s been really tough especially because over the course of my career, I’ve played so many games when I’ve been healthy. I came to Boston to be a part of those special runs and be a part of high-intensity games and fans going wild, and I wasn’t able to be a part of that unfortunately.
“I’m planning on having a big summer,” Walker said. “Get myself feeling good again. It’s been a while since I’ve really, really had time off. So this is really just an important time for me. I’m really gonna attack [my offseason]. I gotta get right.”
Signed to a max contract as the Celtics’ Kyrie Irving replacement in 2019, the 31-year-old Walker, a native of the Bronx and a player who carved out his ‘Cardiac’ nickname on the Madison Square Garden courts as a UConn star, averaged 19.9 points and 4.8 assists over his 99-game Boston run.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.