Kemba: Knicks were 'one of my top priorities' in free agency
Emilee Chinn / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The New York Knicks came closer to signing Kemba Walker than most observers realized.

The Boston Celtics guard revealed in a Thursday appearance on The Ringer's R2C2 podcast that he nearly put pen to paper with his hometown Knicks before ultimately joining the Celtics last summer.

"To be honest, yes," Walker said when asked if New York was a serious contender to land his services. "Yes. Very serious, very. At one point - yes, very serious. Before Boston actually came along, the Knicks were one of my top priorities, actually, because I was thinking they were gonna get another player, but it didn't work out."

Walker didn't identify the other player in question. Host Ryan Ruocco asked if the player's name rhymed with "Slevin Lurant," suggesting it was the Knicks' inability to sign Kevin Durant that led Walker to move on.

"Not really, nah," the 30-year-old replied.

Walker became a free agent for the first time in his NBA career last summer after eight seasons with the Charlotte Hornets franchise. A native of the Bronx, he was perpetually linked to the Knicks, who were reportedly hoping to sign two max-contract stars.

But Walker eventually joined Boston in a sign-and-trade deal that sent Terry Rozier to Charlotte. The Knicks, meanwhile, failed to land any of the market's top free agents, including Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Durant, with the latter two opting to sign with the Brooklyn Nets instead.

Kemba: Knicks were 'one of my top priorities' in free agency
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