The Knicks announced Wednesday that they had signed Bronx native and four-time All-Star guard Kemba Walker.
Terms of the signing were not disclosed, though it has been reported to be a two-year, $16 million deal. Walker reportedly gave up $20 million in his buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"We are beyond thrilled to bring native New Yorker Kemba Walker back to the city he’s proud to call home," Knicks president Leon Rose said in a statement. "He’s a tremendous talent whose skill and leadership will be a huge addition to our organization. We’ve already seen how well he performs on The Garden stage and can’t wait to witness it on a nightly basis in front of his family, friends and the best fans in the league."
Walker, a prep star at Rice High School in Harlem, made one of the most memorable shots at Madison Square Garden during the UConn's run to a Big East and national title in 2011. At that season's Big East Tournament, he scored a tournament record 130 points in five games, including a buzzer beater that secured an upset win over Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals.
A 10-year NBA veteran, the 6-1 point guard holds career averages of 19.9 points, 5.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.27 steals over 33.7 minutes in 704 games (659 starts) with Boston and Charlotte. Last season, he averaged 19.3 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds over 31.8 minutes in 43 games (all starts) for the Celtics. The Celtics traded him to Oklahoma City at the end of the season in one of the first moves of an organizational shake-up.
Also on Wednesday, the Knicks renounced the rights to guard Frank Ntilikina, making him a free agent. The Knicks’ No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Ntilikina struggled to find a role on the team after a solid rookie season. Last year, under new coach Tom Thibodeau, he played in only 33 games, averaging less than 10 minutes per game.