The New York Knicks acquired Kemba Walker before the season in an effort to solve their point guard problem, but things did not go according to plan and now the former All-Star is sitting out the year and is a candidate to be traded in the offseason.
While Walker didn’t look like he had much left in the tank while manning the lead guard spot, there does seem to be something left for him to offer by coming off the bench.
Sports Illustrated writer Ben Stinar floated the idea of the Phoenix Suns calling the Knicks in the offseason looking to acquire Walker. It wouldn’t be too bad of a fit on paper as it’d let Walker come off the bench to back up to the ageless Chris Paul, and it’d let him lead the second unit with less pressure.
Walker to the Suns
The four-time All-Star might have his best days behind him, but being put on a championship contender could potentially re-energize his career for a second act, similar to Paul.
Stinar says this would be a good fit because all the Suns would need out of Walker is to continue being what he has been this year with the Knicks.
“All Walker would have to be is the version of himself in New York this season (just more efficient shooting),” he wrote. “He does not need to put up big nights, he just needs to bring solid production. The backcourt of Walker and Devin Booker at certain points would also give opposing teams fits.”
Walker doesn’t need to be the star he was in Charlotte if he were coming off the bench with the Suns. In fact, he could play a role similar to Derrick Rose following his career in Chicago. Rose now leads the second unit and has proven he’s a good fit for it during stops in Minnesota, Detroit and New York.
Walker could play a similar role and thrive there with the Suns.
Would Phoenix Go For It?
The Suns would potentially consider this move because Walker is on a very team-friendly contract. He’ll make around $9 million next year which would make him a decent fit for a backup.
This would also be good for the Suns because they have a big decision to make in the offseason with DeAndre Ayton. Their star big man is due for a massive extension that the team has shown no intention of handing out thus far. This could lead to Ayton leaving in the offseason, but that’s a risk the Suns appear willing to take.
If they do decide to get their star signed to a new contract, filling out the rest of the roster with affordable players would be vital. Walker could fit that bill perfectly, and if he’s able to get his shooting numbers up next season with him spending months getting healthy, then Phoenix could have a real bargain on their hands.
The Knicks likely won’t be asking for much for their point guard considering he doesn’t even play for them currently, so the Suns could get Walker for cheap.