The Pistons acquired veteran guard Kemba Walker from the New York Knicks as part of a three-team trade involving the Charlotte Hornets that also saw Detroit acquire the draft rights to Jalen Duren on Thursday night.
Walker and the Pistons are expected to discuss a contract buyout that will allow him to become a free agent, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Knicks made the first trade of the NBA draft, sending the draft rights to Ousmane Dieng, the No. 11 overall pick, to the Oklahoma City Thunder for three future conditional first-round picks from the Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Pistons.
New York then traded the Nuggets first-rounder they received from Oklahoma City, plus four second-round picks, to the Hornets for the rights to Duren, the Memphis center who was picked No. 13 by Charlotte. New York then traded Duren and Walker to the Pistons for a 2025 conditional Milwaukee Bucks first-round pick.
The 32-year-old Walker is on an expiring $9.2 million salary for this upcoming season, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. The likelihood is Walker will go into the trade exception created once the Pistons finalize dealing forward Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers, Marks reported.
In February, the Knicks and Walker agreed that the four-time All-Star would be sidelined for the remainder of the season to allow him to work out in preparation for 2022-23. Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau dropped Walker from the Knicks’ playing rotation in mid-November, and Walker also battled knee soreness in January.
Walker averaged 11.6 points and three rebounds in 37 games last season.