The Knicks never disappoints to disappoint its fans on draft night. The team had the eleventh overall pick going into Thursday's opening round. New York traded picks with the Thunder, Pistons, and Hornets to transform that one decision into three protected first-round picks in the future (2023 Pistons and 2025 Wizards). They also traded veteran point guard Kemba Walker to the Pistons for four second-round selections in the future. Walker suffered his worst season in a decade with New York.
The point guard only played 37 games for the Knicks, scoring 149 field goals and 370 attempts (.403 FG%) and a .367 three-point percentage. He also had a career-low of 131 assists, 26 steals, and 431 points.
The move to get Walker made sense last season, but it was a mistake. The then 31-year-old Walker had a $37.6 million option for 2022-23 and was owed roughly $74 million over the following two seasons. The Knicks got Kemba after the Oklahoma City Thunder waived him.
By trading Walker and his $9.2 million salary for next season, the Knicks have cleared nearly $18 million in salary-cap space for the start of free agency next week. However, the Knicks got a selection on the draft's first night. Trevor Keels of Duke was New York's second-round pick.
Many analysts speculate that this additional cap space will make New York a favorite to sign breakout point guard Jalen Brunson. However, they are other options for New York in Brunson does not pan out. Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell are other options the team can pursue.