AP source: Kemba Walker trade to Pistons among Knicks' moves
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Knicks removed Kemba Walker and added no players in the first round of the NBA draft on Thursday.
Walker wasn’t around the Knicks late in the season and now he won’t be with them at all after they agreed to deal him to the Detroit Pistons.
That was among the multiple deals made by the Knicks as they apparently eye salary cap space for future moves.
They began the night by trading the rights to France’s Ousmane Dieng, who they took with the No. 11 pick, to the Oklahoma City Thunder for four first-round picks.
Then the Knicks used one of them to acquire the rights to Jalen Duren, taken by Charlotte with the No. 13 selection, and agreed to send him along with Walker to the Pistons for another pick, a person with knowledge of the details told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that trade would not become official Thursday.
A New York native, Walker joined the Knicks last summer, but it wasn’t the homecoming either side wanted.
A starter to begin the season, he fell out of coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation entirely early in the season when the Knicks began to struggle. Thibodeau went back to Walker when the Knicks were depleted in December and he played well, winning Eastern Conference player of the week honors after having a triple-double on Christmas.
But after a heavy workload, Walker was bothered by knee pain and he didn’t play after the All-Star break in February.
The Knicks are likely to look for another point guard through free agency or a trade. Veteran Derrick Rose had ankle surgery in December and missed the rest of the season.
The Knicks did make their pick at No. 42, taking Duke guard Trevor Keels.