The New York Knicks signed four-time NBA All-Star Kemba Walker during the last off-season, and the match appeared to be perfect.
The Knicks needed point guard depth, and Walker is from New York City.
He had been a star with the Charlotte Hornets, and had several very good seasons in Boston with the Celtics.
However, injuries started to creep up on the former UConn star.
During his tenure with the Knicks, he has played in 37 games and averaged 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game on 40.3% shooting from the field.
At one point during the season, head coach Tom Thibodeau removed Walker from the rotation.
After returning to the rotation, he erupted in several games, and showed flashes of his vintage All-Star play.
The party didn't last long though as the Knicks and Walker agreed to end his season short; ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on February 23.
The article from Wojnarowski on ESPN can be read here, and his tweets can be seen embedded below.
Wojnarowski wrote: "Walker will be on an expiring contract this summer and that’ll offer an opportunity for the Knicks and his agent Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports to work on trade scenarios in the offseason."
According to Spotrac, Walker will make $9,165,471 next season, which in today's NBA is actually a very movable contract.
Therefore, I believe that the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, or Golden State Warriors should make a move for Walker next season.
Walker is at the point in his career where he is no longer a star, and could help a contending team.
Why those three teams?
- Phoenix Suns: The Suns are the best team in the NBA with a 60-14 record, and are also coming off of a trip to the NBA Finals last season. They do not need much help, and they have one of the best point guard's in NBA history in Chris Paul. However, Paul will be 37-years-old by next season's playoffs, and Walker could provide Paul with extra rest during the regular season. All Walker would have to be is the version of himself in New York this season (just more efficient shooting). He does not need to put up big nights, he just needs to bring solid production. The backcourt of Walker and Devin Booker at certain points would also give opposing teams fits.
- Los Angeles Lakers: The Lakers have had a miserable season considering the star power on their roster. They might not even make the playoffs, and clearly changes need to be made. Walker may not be the answer, but he would be very good addition at a relatively low price salary wise, and they could probably figure out a trade with the Knicks that makes sense for both sides. The Lakers do not have much to give in terms of assets, but the Knicks also won't be looking for much in return either. The Lakers are stuck right now in terms of the salary cap, and they have to look at every possibility if they want to make the most out of LeBron James' final seasons in the NBA.
- Golden State Warriors: The Golden State Warriors are a franchise that keeps players looking young, and makes role players excel. Walker would have fit perfectly in their system back in his prime, but even now he could be a great weapon to add for Steve Kerr to use in a playoff series or as depth during the regular season. Their guard play is covered with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole. However, Walker has never been an elite distributor, and they could unleash him in a scoring role only that would make Curry and Thompson's life easier form opposing defensives having to worry about the scoring capability of Walker.