The New York Knicks had to make changes to their team, and the writing was on the wall for the latest one.
On February 23, it was announced that an agreement between Kemba Walker and the Knicks would see the former All-Star sit out the remainder of the season. This marks the second time this year Walker was removed from the rotation, but this one seems more final than the last time.
New York Knicks president Leon Rose said the team supports the decision in a statement.
“We fully support Kemba’s decision to shut it down for the remainer of the season and to use this time to prepare for next season,” he said. “His long-term success on the court remains our priority.”
With Walker now out of the picture, the door is wide open for somebody to step up, and that could mean rookie point guard Miles McBride could finally start getting minutes.
It seems like every time McBride is sent to the G-League, he puts on a dominant display but then he gets called up to the Knicks where he doesn’t get playing time.
It’s a cycle Knicks fans know all too well, and many are begging to see the fan-favorite get some playing time. We still haven’t seen a game from the Knicks since the All-Star Break, but Tom Thibodeau did hint at changes, and it’s to hard to argue this wasn’t a big one.
Something Thibodeau has always valued over his years as a coach is his veteran players. When Walker was removed from the rotation initially, he was replaced in the starting lineup with Alec Burks, somebody who is not usually a point guard. He’s hinted at going down that road again, so it might not be time for McBride to start playing, no matter how obvious it might seem to fans.
Instead of giving up on the season, it appears the team will still fight for a spot in the NBA play-in tournament. Nothing is set in stone about Burks being the point guard for the team, but if recent history is any suggestion, then it seems like a better bet than Thibs going for McBride.
Knicks Are Getting Healthier
Derrick Rose and RJ Barrett are getting set to return, and for a while it was looking like Rose was the best point guard on the roster.
When asked if he could potentially start when he returns, Thibodeau didn’t seem committed either way.
“We’ll see,” he said via SNY. “I think just looking, digging into the numbers and stuff, [Alec Burks] has been our best option so far.”
It seems like fans who want to see a new-look Knicks roster will have to wait until the offseason and see if the team makes some trades. For the time being, it’s looking like they’ll stick with what they have, despite all of the issues plaguing the current lineups.
If Walker was really the issue, it won’t take long for the team to figure that out.