Knicks News: Kemba Walker, NY Agree PG Will Be Sidelined for Rest of Season

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 23, 2022

New York Knicks guard Kemba Walker (8) dribbles up the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photo/John Minchillo

Kemba Walker's season is over.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the New York Knicks and the point guard's agent, Jeff Schwartz, worked together to develop a plan after Walker's time with the team "became fraught with starts and stops."

Team president Leon Rose released a statement about the decision:

Ian Begley @IanBegley

Knicks’ team president Leon Rose says club supports Kemba Walker’s decision to shut himself down for the rest of the season. Rose’s full statement: <a href="https://t.co/r9Xtvi0x0I">pic.twitter.com/r9Xtvi0x0I</a>

Walker will not play again this season and will begin to prepare for the 2022-23 campaign. What's more, the Knicks and Schwartz could explore trade possibilities this offseason with the 31-year-old set to enter the last year of his contract in the summer.

To say this has been an up-and-down season for Walker would be an understatement.

Head coach Tom Thibodeau removed him from the rotation in late November, but he made his way back into the lineup when the Knicks were dealing with attrition, including Derrick Rose's ankle injury. Walker scored 21 or more points in three straight games in December, including an explosion for 44 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in a loss against the Washington Wizards.

However, he dealt with a knee problem in early January and had scored fewer than 10 points in 11 of his last 12 appearances before this decision.

Wojnarowski noted the Knicks are expected to get Rose back in the near future following his surgery, so the veteran will help make up for the lost minutes with the absence of Walker.

Walker will finish the season with per-game averages of 11.6 points, 3.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 0.7 steals in his first and perhaps only season with New York.

It is a far cry from when he was an All-Star for four straight seasons from 2016-17 through 2019-20 as a member of the Charlotte Hornets and Boston Celtics. There was a time when Walker was one of the best offensive point guards in the league and regularly scored more than 20 points per night.

Perhaps some time off or a change of scenery can help him rediscover that form in 2022-23, but the Knicks will not have him as they try to make a late charge from 12th place in the Eastern Conference.