Kemba Walker's time with the New York Knicks hasn't gone as well as either side had hoped. Earlier this week, Walker was completely removed from New York's rotation by coach Tom Thibodeau, and it appears as though the team may be ready to move on entirely. The Knicks are expected to look to trade Walker prior to the trade deadline in February, per A. Sherrod Blakely of Bleacher Report. The Knicks signed Walker to a two-year, $18 million deal over the offseason, but a crowded backcourt rotation and defensive deficiencies on Walker's part led to him losing his spot rather quickly.
When it comes to a Walker trade, Houston Rockets guard John Wall could be a potential target, according to Blakely. Wall hasn't played for the Rockets yet this season as the team wanted to go in a younger direction. They've been looking for a viable trade partner for Wall, who has told the team he wants to suit up. Given these circumstances, Wall would likely welcome a trade to a competitive Knicks team.
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Multiple league sources believe the Knicks will look to trade Walker, whose value on the trade market, much like his production, is at an all-time low. However, league sources believe Walker's value has the potential to change as the Knicks get closer to the Feb. 10 trade deadline and teams get more desperate to add a veteran who, despite his defensive shortcomings, has shown he can still make shots, albeit in a more limited capacity.
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. ... The trade market for Wall is non-existent now, but returning to play may open the eyes of potential trade partners interested in acquiring the five-time All-Star who has two years and $91.7 million remaining on the four-year, $171.1 million contract he signed (then with the Washington Wizards) in 2017.
There's a good amount to unpack there. The Knicks looking to trade Walker isn't especially surprising given the fact he has already fallen out of Thibodeau's rotation. It will be interesting to see what, if any, type of interest he generates. It wouldn't be shocking at all to see a contender look to add him in an effort to bolster the bench. Walker isn't the player he once was, but can still put the ball in the basket -- he's shooting 41 percent from long range on the season. He could potentially be effective in a reserve role in the right situation.
As far as a Walker-for-Wall swap, that seems a bit more unlikely. Wall's contract is substantially larger than Walker's, so obviously things would have to be figured out financially as a straight-up deal wouldn't work. The Rockets would likely want several additional assets in any Wall trade, and they probably wouldn't have much interest in Walker, either, given their approach with Wall. Walker and Wall are the same age (31), and both are clearly on the downswing of their careers.
Serving as an offensive insurance policy for a contender makes more sense than a role on a rebuilding team for Walker at this point in his career. Even if he's not the difference-maker he once was, Walker will still be a name to keep an eye on leading up to the trade deadline.