NBA Rumors: Knicks Trade Kemba Walker to Pistons to Assist Jalen Brunson Pursuit |  Bleacher report

NBA Rumors: Knicks Trade Kemba Walker to Pistons to Assist Jalen Brunson Pursuit | Bleacher report

NBA Rumors: Knicks Trade Kemba Walker to Pistons to Assist Jalen Brunson Pursuit |  Bleacher report

Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Kemba-Walker experiment with the New York Knicks ended after just one season.

According to The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania, the Knicks traded Walker to the Detroit Pistons along with center Jalen Duren, who was picked 13th in Thursday’s NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets.

Shine Charania @ShamsCharania

Knicks acquired Jalen Duren — and brought him to the Pistons with Kemba Walker, sources said. https://t.co/kzyljkrFnI

According to ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pistons sent a 2025 first-round pick to the Hornets via the Milwaukee Bucks as part of the deal. The Knicks’ compensation was not reported, but NBA insider Marc Stein speculated that New York took the step to remove salary for pursuing free agent Jalen Brunson.

Mark Stein @TheSteinLine

The Pistons are getting Jalen Duren… and the Knicks, more crucial to the immediate concerns of free agency, are giving Kemba Walker’s salary to Detroit to help fund their free-agent pursuit of Jalen Brunson. https://t.co/DDs1fk3JGC

Wojnarowski also reported that Walker could be bought out and become a free agent.

Walker was signed by the Knicks last offseason in what would be a triumphant homecoming for the New York native. He had become a free agent after receiving a buyout from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who acquired him in a trade with the Boston Celtics earlier in the offseason.

A slow start from Walker prompted Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau to drop him from the rotation on November 27. The four-time All-Star averaged 11.7 points and 3.1 assists with 42.9 percent shooting in 18 starts.

After a series of injuries and absences due to health and safety protocols, Walker was returned to the starting lineup on December 18. He played much better with 19.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game with a three-point percentage of 38.5 in six starts.

Walker became the seventh player in NBA history to hit a triple-double on Christmas Day when he had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in a 101-87 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

NBA @NBA

Kemba Walker joined an impressive list of players who #NBAXmas record triple-double. 🤯

Draymond Green (2017)
Russell Westbrook (2013)
LeBron James (2010)
Billy Cunningham: (1970)
John Havlicek (1967)
Oscar Robertson: 4 times pic.twitter.com/IPdVlWdSk5

A knee injury forced Walker to miss nine games from December 31 to January 17. Durability has been an issue for the 32-year-old in recent years. He has missed at least 16 games in each of the last three seasons.

Walker played 13 of the next 15 games, averaging 8.1 points and 3.4 assists, but the Knicks announced February 23 that it would be closed to prepare for the 2022-23 campaign.

Wojnarowski reported at the time that the Knicks and one of Walker’s agents, Jeff Schwartz, could work to find trading partners during the offseason.

Walker would be best in a role that doesn’t require him to be the focus of an offense at this stage in his career. He was effective with the Knicks, particularly as a three-point taker (36.7 percent), but his overall performance was erratic.

Given the state of the Pistons’ rebuild, it would be a surprise if Walker isn’t bought out and allowed to capitalize on opportunities once the free hand begins.

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