Kemba Walker doesn’t seem like he’ll be heading to New York.
The 29-year-old guard signing with the Knicks this summer “isn’t a likely outcome,” according to a report from SNY, which cites unidentified league sources. Walker grew up and attended high school in New York.
The three-time All-Star has spent his entire eight-year career with Charlotte. He became eligible for a “supermax” contract when he was named to the All-NBA third team after 2018-19.
“Charlotte’s definitely my first priority,” Walker told The Athletic during a recent interview. “That’s where I’ve been for eight years and that’s all I know. Not many people get a chance to play for one NBA team throughout their career. When I go on my Instagram, I see, ‘Kemba leave! Kemba get out of Charlotte!’ People don’t understand, when they say you need to go ‘here’ and win, that winning is not guaranteed anywhere.
“Charlotte is my home, man. I’ve been there for eight years and it’s been the most amazing eight years of my life. My family, they love it. The fans love me. The organization has been great and gave me my opportunity.”
Charlotte originally selected Walker out of UCONN with the ninth pick in the 2011 draft. He averaged 25.6 points and 5.9 assists while shooting 35.6% from 3-point range last season.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) June 3, 2019
“I had no idea where I was going on draft night,” Walker said. “I was hearing so many different rumors about different teams I was going to get drafted to, but Charlotte traded up and took a chance on me. A lot of people didn’t think I was going to become the player I am today, so I have to have that love for Charlotte and that is definitely the team I want to be with, for sure.”
The Lakers and Magic, amongst others, are also expected to pursue Walker this offseason.
“I haven’t even really had a chance to just sit down and think about where I want to go,” Walker said. “But as it’s getting closer, it’s something that I’m going to have to really lock into.”
The Knicks, meanwhile, are reportedly looking to add multiple stars this summer. They’ve consistently been linked to Kevin Durant while they also could be in the mix to land Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard. New York holds the No. 3 pick in the 2019 draft, as well.