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Kemba Walker Rumors: PG Gave Up $20M in Contract Buyout with Thunder

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2021

Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Kemba Walker reportedly gave up $20 million over two years while agreeing to a buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to Keith Smith of Spotrac.

The point guard had about $74 million still owed to him from the four-year, $141 million deal he initially signed with the Boston Celtics, but he gave up $9.8 million in 2021-22 and $10.2 million in 2022-23.

His new contract with the New York Knicks should help make up for it, with Walker set to make roughly $8 million annually over his two-year deal, per Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer.

While a $4 million difference over two years is significant, Walker, who grew up in the Bronx and played at Rice High School in Harlem, will get to return home.

The four-time All-Star can also help the Knicks contend in the Eastern Conference after the squad earned the fourth seed in the playoffs last year. 

Oklahoma City was one of the worst teams in the NBA in 2020-21, finishing with a 22-50 record, and there are few reasons to expect a turnaround next year after it made few upgrades in the offseason.

The Thunder can afford to handle the dead cap left from Walker's salary as they continue their rebuild, and they added a first-round pick as part of the trade with Boston.

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They then used the Celtics' No. 16 overall selection to acquire two more future first-round selections from the Houston Rockets after trading the draft rights to Alperen Sengun.

Saving money from the buyout agreement is simply a bonus for the organization.

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