Should the New York Knicks Pursue Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker?


Heading into the final days of the NBA playoff period, free agent talks will begin to ramp up, especially for the New York Knicks and their ability to take on two max-contracts. Rumors of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving coming to the Big Apple have circulated over the past few months, but nothing is set in stone.

Ideally, the Knicks will bring in a premium playmaking point guard to help take the team to another level of quality. Both Irving and alterative free agent Kemba Walker brings that ability.

Should the New York Knicks pursue Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker?

This past season saw Irving and Walker earn nearly identical numbers. Their comparisons range from athleticism to shooting and driving the lane. Both would be a stellar addition to a team that hasn’t had an elite point guard in quite some time. It might just be time to give up on the Frank Ntilikina experiment or put him in a reserve role.

Side-by-side stat comparison (Land of basketball):

Points per game — 

Irving: 23.8

Walker: 25.6

Rebound per game–

Irving: 3.9

Walker: 3.8

Assists per game–

Irving: 6.9

Walker: 5.9

Steals per game–

Irving: 1.5

Walker: 1.2

Block per game:

Irving: 0.5

Walker: 0.4

Percentage-wise, Irving was better in nearly every category (field goal, 3-pointer, free throw). My biggest concern is Irving’s health and if he can play the entire season. Last season, Irving played in 67 games where Kemba played in 82. In fact, Kyrie hasn’t broken the 80-game mark once in his entire career with Walker has reached that point four times in eight seasons.

Overall, Kemba had the more explosive year offensively, but Kyrie certainly held his own. However, Irving’s attitude became a problem later on in the season after the Celtics began to falter. That could create issues for a team that hasn’t had a winning season in quite some time – better to bring in a player that can fight through adversity if need be.