After a 60 point showing last night in a losing effort to the 76ers it’s fair to wonder what the Hornets are going to do with Kemba Walker. The 8-year veteran has been the star of the Hornets and even the Bobcats before the name change. All he has to show for it are 2 playoff appearances in which they went a combined 3-8 and have failed to make it passed the first round. Walker is a free agent after this season and the Hornets/him have a decision to make on his future. He’s currently making a team friendly 12 million per year but that’s due to balloon to a max when he hits the open market this summer. The question is if the Hornets want to pay him or move on and rebuild around guys like Malik Monk and Miles Bridges. On the other hand, even though it doesn’t seem like this core can win anything it will be tough for them to break it up due to all of the money/years they have invested in them. Below is the cap situation and paying 24 million to Nicolas Batum just screams poor management.
They invested in middle of the road guys like Biyombo, Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller, etc. and they looked destined for 30-40 wins every single season. It’s mediocrity and although they might sell tickets but they won’t be winning many games.
For Kemba, He’s having his best season as a pro and is single handedly carrying the Hornets. He’s averaging 28.7 points 4.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists. He’s been absolutely incredible and last night was a microcosm of their whole season. Kemba scored 60 on 21-34 shooting and they still lost. Jimmy Butler hit a dagger from the right wing to sink the Hornets 122-119 in overtime. It might be smart to cash in on Kemba’s value while he’s hot and get some assets to build for the future. Teams are searching for any stars to get on the open market and I’m sure they’d get a great package for Walker. It would be fun to see Walker on a contender as we’ve seen how clutch he is on the biggest stages. In the Big East/NCAA tournament in 2011 Cardiac Kemba put UConn on his back en route to a national title.
Phoenix, New Orleans, and the Lakers are all teams that could use a big time point guard, and more importantly, another star. I see this as a thing to monitor as we near closer to the trade deadline. If Charlotte is down in the standings look for them to shop Kemba and move onto a new age in Hornets basketball.
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