The New York Knicks were in talks with the Charlotte Hornets to trade for Kemba Walker and Kevin Durant. This would have been a blockbuster deal that would have changed the landscape of the NBA, but it was vetoed by Durant’s agent.
The kemba walker age is a question that has been discussed by the New York Knicks. It has been suggested that they should pair Kemba Walker with Kevin Durant.
Getty The New York Knicks’ Kemba Walker #8 speaks during a news conference at Madison Square Garden.
Kemba Walker’s ability to help the Knicks improve remains to be seen. Between 2017 and 2018, the newly acquired guard was an All-Star four times in a row, although his performance with the Celtics was limited by an arthritic left knee.
Nonetheless, it seems that Walker has already found his happily ever after.
After all, the UConn product is a Bronx native. And he’d been indicating for years that the Knicks were one of his favorite destinations. According to a story published Sunday by Marc Berman of the New York Post, Walker came close to joining the Knicks in 2019 free agency — if New York could have enticed Kevin Durant to join him.
Durant, of course, ended up signing with the crosstown Nets in 2019, joining Kyrie Irving and James Harden in Brooklyn to create the team’s Big Three.
According to Berman, the Knicks envisioned a team headed by Durant and Walker if things had gone their way.
Kevin Durant was a free agent target for the Knicks in 2019.
Walker was interested in joining the Knicks in 2019 free agency provided they could also get Durant, according to Berman. The Knicks had enough financial room at the time to add two players to max contracts.
Instead, Durant was persuaded to join the Nets by Irving, who in turn influenced Walker to sign with a contender in the Boston Celtics.
Berman goes into more detail about the sequence of events that prevented Walker and Durant from playing together at Madison Square Garden:
The New York Post has heard that the Knicks were informed explicitly that Irving was not altering his mind about Brooklyn during their pursuit of Durant.
As a backup plan, former Knicks president Steve Mills and current GM Scott Perry focused on persuading Walker to play alongside KD. In fact, Durant’s team inquired as to what other star the Knicks might bring in to match with Durant.
When Durant and Irving eventually signed with the Nets, the Knicks and Walker decided that bringing Walker to New York without another current All-Star was not a smart idea.
At the time, the Knicks had just completed their sixth consecutive losing season. It’s unknown if Walker and Durant discussed the Knicks directly before free agency.
Walker Gets to Play for the Knicks for the First Time
Walker stated on The Ringer’s “R2C2” podcast in August of 2020 that he nearly chose the Knicks over the Celtics in free agency in 2019.
“To tell you the truth, yeah. Yes. When asked whether he contemplated playing for the Knicks at the time, Walker said, “Very serious, very serious.” “Yes, it was severe at one point.”
It everything worked out in the end. Walker will join a Knicks squad headed by Julius Randle that is coming off a fourth-place finish in the Eastern Conference and its first postseason participation since the 2012-13 season.
According to Berman, Walker remarked at a news conference earlier this month that the time was “perfect.”
Walker’s family was also worried about his playing for the Knicks early in his career, according to Berman, because of “the burden on the local hero as savior.”
Last season, Walker averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.0 rebounds. He signed a two-year, $18 million contract with the Knicks.
According to Berman, “my teammates, my home team, the Knicks, they believed in me.” “And now I’m here. It doesn’t matter what occurred in the past at this point.”
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