Rumors and speculations are currently swirling around the Charlotte Hornets, who are reportedly considering moving their main man Kemba Walker before the February 8 trade deadline. Should the New York Knicks be interested in trading for Walker?
The Hornets are one of the NBA teams who dreamt of contending for the title this season. They made a huge gamble in the recent offseason by absorbing the final two years of Dwight Howard’s contract from the Atlanta Hawks. Unfortunately, they failed to live up to expectations and currently reside in the 12th spot in the Eastern Conference with a 14-23 record.
If they won’t resolve their current issues, the Hornets may consider making a tough decision before the February trade deadline. Kemba Walker, who has 18 months left on his contract, is expected to be a strong trade candidate. According to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post, trading Walker makes sense if the Hornets fall out of playoff picture.
Keeping the same roster that can’t make them a strong title contender will only bury Charlotte deep in the luxury tax hell. If the Hornets will move Kemba Walker, Bontemps sees the New York Knicks as an ideal trade partner. In the suggested deal, the Hornets could send Walker and Marvin Williams to the Knicks for Frank Ntilikina, Joakim Noah, and a 2018 first-round pick. This deal works on the ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
Despite the inclusion of Noah’s contract, the Hornets will be acquiring assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. Frank Ntilikina has made a good impression in his rookie season and can be the perfect replacement for Kemba Walker. The deal will also help the Hornets’ own first-round pick to move in the top-five of the lottery while having another pick in the middle of the round.
Meanwhile, the acquisition of Kemba Walker will ease the load on Kristaps Porzingis’ shoulder as the new face of the Knicks’ franchise. Earlier this season, Porzingis proved his ability to lead the Knicks in the succeeding years. However, being the lone superstar, the 22-year-old big man is now feeling wear and tear, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
As most people think, Porzingis can’t bring the Knicks back to title contention alone. They must consider surrounding him with talented players to beat powerhouse teams in the league. Pairing him with Kemba Walker would be interesting, making them a formidable pick-and-roll tandem.
However, as of now, there is no official negotiation happening between the Hornets and the Knicks. If the Hornets continue to struggle in the 2017-18 NBA season, expect more rumors to circulate around Kemba Walker as the February 8 trade deadline approaches.