Well, this stinks. The Cardiac-Kemba homecoming did not go as planned...
His tenure this season has been on-and-off. He came in with much hyped, was pulled out of the lineup, came back and torched the scoreboard, and then fell back to a lackluster performance.
With 23 games left in the regular season, both sides agreed to forego the rest of the season and look for a trade partner in the offseason. While Kemba is starting, the Knicks have been outscored by 13.8 points per 100 possessions. With Alec Burks being the "best option", plus Dereck Rose returning, this move seems to be what's best. Coach Thibodeau hopes to replicate last season’s late push with Rose and Immanuel Quickley at the backcourt and their chemistry with Obi Toppin. Rookie Quentin Grimes is likely to stay in rotation.
At the end of the day, you make that deal any day of the week. Kemba signed a two-year, $17.9 million, after surrendering $20M in a buyout with OKC. Honestly, it was quite the steal compared to his Celtics contract (four-year, $141 million) that he had back in 2019. I desperately wanted this to workout. Kemba was a 4x All-Star, a native New Yorker, and someone who was going to fill that point guard void.
The Knicks season is looking bleak, but they are four games back from the 10th seed. Crazier things have happened, but it'll be back to the drawing board this offseason. Still crazy that Kemba made his way to New York, but it seemed a few years too late.