New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau made the bold choice this week to permanently remove Kemba Walker from the team’s rotation.
“It’s a tough decision to make, but you always have to do what you think is best for the team,” he said on Monday.
“I view Kemba as a starter, and so it’d be tough to play three small guards together. I gave it consideration, and I’ve got great respect for who Kemba is as a person and all he’s accomplished in this league. But I have to do what I think is best for the team.”
Walker signed with the Knicks last summer on a two-year, $20 million contract. So far this year he has averaged a career-low 11.1 points, 3.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game. His benching became almost inevitable after he averaged 10 points per game on 39 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent shooting from beyond the arc in November.
Understandably, the Knicks are now looking to deal Walker.
According to A. Sherrod Blakely of the Bleacher Report, New York may have a willing trade companion in the Houston Rockets.
“A source close to the Knicks indicated New York may also have a potential trade partner in the Houston Rockets, who are eager to move John Wall,” he wrote.
Wall’s issues with the Rockets are a matter of public record. He wants to return to action; they want to trade him elsewhere. In meantime, he wants to play – but one major disagreement has prevented that from happening. There are three serious suitors for his services should he get bought out, but nobody is lining up to give up trade assets for him.
How Zach Wilson’s girlfriend reacted to his tough day. https://t.co/w8QNqJh10t
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 30, 2021
This could be a rare win-win for both sides. Wall could get new life in New York, and Walker could offer up some veteran leadership in Houston on a team with zero expectations.
Will it happen? Time will tell. Should it? Absolutely.