Kemba Walker, a point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, was purchased by the team.

Kemba Walker did not fit into the Oklahoma City Thunder’s player development plan as the team prepares for another season. Not only because of his age, but also because of his abilities.

The worst-case situation would have been a ball-dominant guard gobbling minutes in Bricktown. Josh Giddey, Tre Mann, Ty Jerome, Theo Maledon, and even Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have had their minutes taken away.

It was in both parties’ best interests to put a halt to the experiment before it began. For Al Horford and Moses Brown, Kemba Walker was dealt to OKC along with a first-round pick (16th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, eventually swapped for two future firsts) (since traded to the Dallas Mavericks). At the start of the season, it appeared that the Oklahoma City Thunder might be able to trade Walker. However, as the NBA Free Agency market grew, landing spots became scarce.

The Thunder, who rarely buy out players, decided that cutting bait with the UConn product was in their best interests.

Oklahoma City has a clean balance sheet and the financial flexibility to work out a buy-out deal with Walker.

This is also a huge favor for the point guard and his agency, so it’s safe to presume they’ll part with some cash.

Kemba Walker joins a lengthy list of players for whom Sam Presti has aided in getting them to where they want to go.

Of course, the hope is that an agent or player will remember these instances in the future and return the favor to the OKC Thunder organization.

Kemba Walker is on his way to the New York Knicks, giving the Bronx native his homecoming, while the Thunder get the minutes they need to distribute to their young players.

While it is understandable for supporters to be concerned about the dead cap and cap space, the Thunder are in such a unique position to be able to handle it without causing a future impact. This is something Presti has dealt with in the past. This year, he is still paying Kyle Singler about a million dollars.


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