Woj: Kemba Walker Not Interested in Knicks Contract Buyout Despite Outside Interest

Doric SamFebruary 24, 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

Veteran point guard Kemba Walker made a mutual decision with the New York Knicks to shut himself down for the season, but apparently, that didn't have to be the case.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Walker would be a popular option for other teams to pursue on the buyout market, but he has no plans on agreeing to one with the Knicks.

"There are a number of teams who would love to have Kemba Walker in a buyout," Wojnarowski stated on Thursday's episode of NBA Today. "That's not gonna happen. He's not interested in that with New York."

Wojnarowski went on to say that Walker is focused on preparing himself for the 2022-23 season instead of joining a team that will be competing for a title this year. 

A native New Yorker, Walker had negotiated a buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder this past offseason to join the Knicks on a two-year, $18 million contract. But things have not worked out the way either side had hoped.

The 31-year-old is averaging career-lows of 11.6 points, 3.5 assists and 25.6 minutes in 37 games. Walker was benched by Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau in November before being reinserted into the lineup less than a month later while the team dealt with injuries to multiple players.

Walker showed flashes of brilliance this season, including a 44-point outburst on Dec. 23 and a triple-double on Christmas Day. But the majority of his games have been well below the level of a four-time All-Star.

At 25-34, the Knicks are in last place in the Atlantic Division. The team's first game after the All-Star break will be against the Miami Heat on Friday. New York had made the playoffs last season, but this year the team would be lucky to earn a spot in the play-in tournament.