The Knicks’ “Bing Bong” era didn’t last long — and neither did Kemba Walker’s first year in New York.
The team announced Wednesday that the four-time All-Star will not play the rest of the season — the latest proof of New York’s failed offseason spending.
They allocated $84.1 million of their 2021-22 cap space to sign — or re-sign — Julius Randle ($21.7M), Evan Fournier ($17.1M), Derrick Rose ($13.4M), Alec Burks ($9.5M), Nerlens Noel ($8.8M), Walker ($8.7M), and Taj Gibson ($4.9M), who have all underwhelmed.
Walker’s numbers have continued to decline since his best year in 2018-19 (career-high 25.6 PPG), and by late November, Walker had already fallen out of the rotation.
- Walker averaged a career-low 11.6 PPG on 40.3% FG.
- He’ll likely be bought out or traded this summer — he has one year remaining with the Knicks worth up to $9.2 million.
- Kemba gave up $20 million total in his buyout/waiver with the Thunder to sign with the Knicks (OKC still owes him roughly $54 million through 2023).
- As of now, he’ll earn at least $63 million from both the Knicks and Thunder over the next two seasons.
The acquisition of the hometown hero had sentimental appeal but made little sense for a team with several young guards more deserving of playing time.
At 25-34 (12th in East), it’s safe to say this season has been a giant letdown after last year’s squad finished fourth in the East.