In an expected scenario, the Detroit Pistons are finalizing a contract buyout with veteran guard Kemba Walker, ESPN reports. The veteran point guard joined the Pistons on draft night as a salary dump in a trade with the New York Knicks.
The Knicks shipped Walker and his expiring $9.2 million contract to Detroit on June 23 as part of a three-team deal that sent center Jalen Duren, the No. 13 pick to the Charlotte Hornets, to the Pistons.
A four-time All-Star, Walker struggled last season in New York following two strong seasons in Boston. He averaged career lows in points (11.5) and assists (3.5). Once he clears waivers Walker will become a free agent.
The veteran did not play with the Knicks since February. The two sides agreed to that he would be shut down for the remainder of the season to prepare for 2022-23. It’s still unclear if any team will be interested in Walker during the offseason.
He’s far away from his All-Star self after dealing with several knee injuries the last two seasons. He remained with the Knicks but before February, the Tom Thibodeau -a defensive-minded coach- dropped the former star out of the rotation.
The veteran guard returned later out of necessity as New York dealt with many absences due to COVID-19, but he never established himself in the Knicks’ rotation. The team dropped him again out of the rotation in February.