Knicks make Kemba Walker signing official, Leon Rose raves about addition

The New York Knicks made the signing of point guard Kemba Walker official on Wednesday morning after a buy-out with the Oklahoma City Thunder finalized. After spending the 2020-21 season with the Boston Celtics, Walker is looking for a new challenge in New York.

As a Bronx native, Walker is coming home, playing at the biggest stage in basketball while trying to regain his form after a season where he played 43 games and struggled with a knee injury.

At this point in his career, Kemba has a degenerative left knee, but at 30-years-old, he still has gas left in the tank and value he can offer the Knicks. Averaging 19.3 points, 4.9 assists, and shooting 42% from the field last season, Walker also offers adequacy as a three-point shooter, connecting on 36% of his shots over 8.2 attempts last season.

The front office is ecstatic about acquiring Walker, especially on such an affordable contract. He’s expected to earn $9 million per season over two years, which is incredibly cost-efficient based on his $36 million AAV before the buyout. The official deal is two years, $18 million.

President Leon Rose stated on Wednesday:

”We are beyond thrilled to bring native New Yorker Kemba Walker to the city he’s proud to call home. He’s a tremendous talent whose skill and leadership will be a huge addition to our organization. We’ve already seen how well he performs on The Garden stage and can’t wait to witness it on a nightly basis in front of his family, friends and the best fans in the league.”

Pairing Walker with veteran PG Derrick Rose and draft pick Miles McBride should give the Knicks plenty of depth at the position. Previously featuring Elfrid Payton in a starting role, they upgraded significantly, which should contribute toward better play from some of their complementary pieces. All-Star Julius Randle will also be a benefactor of this move, opening up the floor for more shooting opportunities and taking pressure off him in high-intensity moments.

The team got better this off-season while managing to stay under the salary cap. On paper, the front office to the brilliant job.