Kemba Walker Off to Slow Start With Knicks

The new Knicks point guard Kemba Walker is not off to the best start on his new team, which could cost him minutes.

Walker was picked up off waivers with the New York Knicks (7-4) after spending two seasons with the Boston Celtics. The 31-year-old was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder during the offseason before being released. His hometown team officially claimed him and is owed nearly $74 million for the next two seasons, including a $37.6 million option he held for 2022-23. 

Over the 10 games he played in this season, he is averaging just 12.5 points per game. The former All-Star is averaging just three assists per game, landing him in 75th place in the NBA.

During his tenure in the NBA, Walker has scored nearly 20 points per game over 33.6 minutes. 

But now, Walker plays 26.4 minutes per game, though his playing time could lessen due to his arthritic left knee in favor of Derrick Rose. Walker has dealt with plenty of issues with his knee over the last few years, causing him to take rest days and missing games throughout the season for treatment and surgeries.

Most recently, Walker was held out of a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers for a rest day. Before signing Walker, the Knicks showed interest in signing Cavs stud Collin Sexton.

Because of this and his lingering injuries, there may be controversy at the point-guard position. Walker is last on the team in plus-minusーWalker has a minus-42, whereas Rose is in first with plus-95.

Although he comes off the bench, Rose has scored 12.5 points per game in 11 games, along with three assists throughout the 2021 season. His free throw percentage is also up over his 13-year career by 10 percentage points.

The season, still, is just getting started. Walker has time to prove he is the guy the Knicks need at point guard, but if he continues with his lackluster performance over the short span of this season and Rose keeps shining off the bench, it may be time to further increase Rose’s minutes.

Photo: NBAE via Getty Images

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