1. Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker is the superior alternative to Kyrie Irving. He is arguably just as worthy of a deal to become the next New York Knicks point guard, returning home on a four-year deal for the maximum salary after eight years with the Charlotte Hornets.
The past four years have seen Walker develop offensively, averaging over 20 points per game. He topped out at 25.6 in 2018-19, which led to an All-NBA spot and a guaranteed supermax deal if he stays put. That alone can dampen New York’s chances, as they can offer four years and less money compared to the five years he may take to remain in North Carolina.
Adding fuel to that fire, Walker told The Athletic, “Oh no question, Charlotte’s definitely my first priority.”
Factor in other teams needing a point guard — the Lakers and Mavericks — and there are competitors for the UConn product’s services, even if the Hornets are in the lead.
Still, with the chance to align with Kevin Durant, Walker has an interesting case to join the Knicks and attempt to create a contender. He was not able to as a Hornet, aside from one year as a Bobcat and a seven-game series in 2015-16. The organization was never able to acquire a “1B” talent to play alongside him, either, which the Knicks can do.
Walker is the most talented option if Irving spurns the Knicks. While hardly guaranteed, a return home to play on teams superior to anything the Hornets put together are compelling reasons to make this change.