If only the New York Knicks were an attractive destination, they might have landed point guard Kemba Walker in free agency last year.
With the Knicks heavily pursuing players like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant last season with an abundance of cap space, they were unable to draw high-profile players to Madison Square Garden. Due to their inadequate leadership, the Knicks once again went into the season with youth players featuring across the starting five.
While they did manage to draw Julius Randle and Marcus Morris to their ranks, Morris was traded during a lost season, and Randle became more of a ball-hog then facilitator.
If only they were able to land Walker, the point guard position would be cemented, and they could build around a bona fide star.
Walker made an appeared on The Ringer’s “R2C2” podcast with Ryan Ruocco and CC Sabathia, and he was interrogated about his legitimate interest in the Knicks:
“Yeah, honest, yes,” said Walker. “Yes, very serious. Very.
“At one point…yes, yes, very serious. Before Boston actually came along, the Knicks was one of my top priorities, actually, because I was thinking they were going to get another player.”
Just how good is Kemba Walker?
Walker is one of the best players in the NBA, having averaged over 20 points per game for the last five seasons. In his first year with the Boston Celtics during the 2019-20 campaign, he was once again an All-Star. Through 53 games, he averaged 20.8 points, 4.8 assists, 0.9 steals, and 3.3 defensive rebounds. He had a .425 field-goal percentage with .384 from three-point land.
Adding a player of his quality to a lowly Knicks team would have been significant, but once again, we are left dreaming and imagining what if. With Leon Rose taking over as general manager and hiring Tom Thibodeau as head coach, the Knicks finally have some more sturdy ground to stand on. Hopefully, this can translate into more active and successful free agency periods.