Kemba Walker buyout: Knicks trade with Pistons may lead to former Celtics guard becoming a free agent (report)

Former Celtics guard Kemba Walker may be looking for a new home again this summer after being involved in a draft night trade. The Knicks sent the veteran guard to the Detroit Pistons as part of a three-team trade that also involved No. 13 overall (Jalen Duran).

The Pistons will receive a 2025 first-round pick as part of the prize for taking on Walker’s $9 million contract next season. However, his stay in Detroit could be brief, according to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reports that Walker is expected to be in talks with the Pistons about a buyout once the trade is finalized to become a free agent.

The Pistons are in the midst of a rebuild and have a backcourt full of young ballhandlers, including Jaden Ivey, who was picked at No. 5 Thursday night. Walker will likely look for an opportunity to play for a winning team rather than being behind player development in Detroit.

The veteran guard signed a two-year, $17.9 million deal with the Knicks last summer after being bought out by Oklahoma City following his acquisition in the Al Horford trade. However, Walker only played 37 games last season, averaging just 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists while dealing with persistent knee problems. He was also temporarily benched by Tom Thibodeau for his defensive struggles.

A buyout with Detroit would likely cause Walker to settle for another significant pay cut if he wants to play for a playoff team. However, this could be his best shot at relaunching his career, which has been sidetracked by knee problems for the last two seasons.

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