Why is Kemba Walker no longer the Knicks starting point guard?

The Knicks are shaking things up.

Ahead of their game against the Nets on Tuesday, Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau disclosure that he will remove Kemba Walker from the starting line-up and rotate “for now.”

The Knicks will start Alec Burks in place of the All-Star four times.

Walker has appeared in 18 games with the Knicks so far this season. In 24.5 minutes, he averaged a career low of 11.7 points, 3.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds per contest in .429 / .413/.800 shots .

After a permanent purchase with the Thunder, Walker signed a two-year contract with the Knicks during the off-season.

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Why are the Knicks going up against Kemba Walker?

New York’s starting lineup has struggled this season.

According to NBA.comWalker, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson together recorded a tournament-leading 287 minutes. With five of them on the field, the Knicks posted an offensive rating of 103.3 and a defensive rating of 118.9, resulting in them being scored 15.6 points out of 100 possessions.

That is equivalent to Offense ranked 27th and worst defense in the one-mile tournament. New York’s all-bench unit was much more efficient.

When explaining the decision to remove Walker from the squad, Thibodeau spoke of his dislike of the team’s inconsistencies and his desire to become bigger.

“I just don’t like the way we follow trends, the inconsistency of our team,” Thibodeau explains. “We’re going to try and make a change. I want to be bigger, I want our defense to be more intact. That’s basically it. We have to do something different.”

On head-to-head second night, Walker beat New York in a win over the Hawks on Saturday, November 27. In the first game of the season, Burks scored a team-high 23 (7-17 FG). , won seven rebounds and created three assists.

“I want to tighten the wheel,” Thibodeau said. “I like the way the team works, so it will be similar to what we did in the Atlanta game.”

The Knicks finished the 2020-21 season with a 41-31 record, the fourth-best record at the Eastern Conference. They have started 11-9 this season, placing seventh in the Eastern Conference and putting them on pace to win 44 games.

After rating fourth in terms of defensive effectiveness Last season, the Knicks fell to 16th this season. They have better attack, going from ranked 22nd in terms of attack efficiency to the 15th.

Kemba Walker’s contract

While Walker’s demotion might come as a surprise after the Knicks added the former All-Star for the season, it’s not necessarily a huge success.

Before joining the Knicks, Walker agreed to a permanent deal with the Thunder, who bought him in a deal that brought Al Horford back to the Celtics. Due to an outright purchase, Walker is no longer playing under a contract that was originally set to pay him $36.0 million in 2021-22 and $37.6 million in 2022-23. He agreed to return $20 million during those two years in exchange for Thunder allowing him to become a free agent.

Walker then signed a two-year, $17.9 million contract with the Knicks. With $8.7 million this season, Walker is currently the sixth highest-paid player on the Knicks.

Will the Knicks trade Kemba Walker?

According to A. Sherrod Blakely of Bleacher Report, it is believed that the Knicks will find a way to exchange Walker.

“League sources believe Walker’s value is likely to change as the Knicks nears the February 10 trade deadline and the teams increasingly want to add a veteran who, despite his shortfalls in terms of coverage, is likely to change. defensively, has shown he can still take shots, though Blakely writes.

In addition to the newly promoted Burks, the Knicks also have Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley and rookie Miles McBride in the backline. That gives the Knicks a lot of placement flexibility if they choose to move in a different direction.

Since he has just signed, Walker is not eligible to be traded until December 15.

THAN: Why December 15th is the NBA’s most important day for in-season deals

Knicks upcoming schedule 2021-22

Day Protest Time (ET)
Tuesday, November 30 in Brooklyn 7:30 PM ONLY
Autumn, December 2 compared to Chicago 7:30 PM ONLY
Saturday, December 4 compared to Denver 1:00 pm
Tuesday, December 7 in San Antonio 8.30 PM
Wednesday, December 8 in Indiana 7:00 pm
Friday, December 10 in Toronto 7:30 PM ONLY
Sunday, December 12 compared to Milwaukee 12 pm
Tuesday, December 14 compared to the Golden State 7:30 PM ONLY
Autumn, December 16 in Houston 20:00
Saturday, December 18 in Boston 8.30 PM

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