With the Charlotte Hornets still out of the playoff picture, Kemba Walker is expected to be one of the NBA superstars who could be moved before the February 8 trade deadline. Several NBA teams have been linked to the 27-year-old point guard, especially those teams who want to strengthen their chance of winning the NBA championship title this season.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Hornets will be needing to make a tough decision before the NBA trade deadline regarding Kemba Walker. If they let the deadline pass without moving him, Stein entered the possibility that Charlotte may lose him for nothing in the summer of 2019. Though if they manage to convince him to stay, being buried in the salary tax hell with just a mediocre roster isn’t a wise move for the Hornets.
Dan Favale of Bleacher Report sees Kemba Walker as one of the potential trade targets of the San Antonio Spurs after losing their star, Kawhi Leonard, due to injury. On their official Twitter account, the Spurs announced that Leonard will be out for an indefinite period of time. With his current injury, there are speculations that San Antonio may enter the Western Conference Playoffs without Leonard on their team.
Even without Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs have managed to stay competitive in the ongoing 2017-18 NBA season. Leonard has only played nine games, but the Spurs remain one of the top teams in the deep Western Conference. The absence of Leonard also gave coach Gregg Popovich the opportunity to maximize the effectiveness of LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s currently averaging 22.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks on 49.7 percent shooting from the field and 34.3 percent from beyond the arc.
However, as everyone knows, the Spurs can’t fully dominate the Western Conference with the current roster they have. Adding at least one superstar is a must if they are serious about beating powerhouse teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets in a best-of-seven series. This is why trading for Kemba Walker makes sense.
Walker could provide a good chemistry with Aldridge, especially in pick-and-rolls. Also, the addition of Walker will form the Spurs’ “Big Three” when Kawhi Leonard returns from injury. As Favale notes, trading for the All-Star point guard won’t be easy as the Spurs will need to part ways with multiple players and draft picks. Favale suggests dealing Rudy Gay, Dejounte Murray, and a first and second-round pick to the Hornets for Walker and Michael Carter-Williams.
The Spurs’ potential acquisition of Kemba Walker will undeniably have a huge effect in the Western Conference Playoffs. However, as of now, it remains questionable if the Spurs will really pull a midseason trade. San Antonio isn’t known for shaking up their roster during the season, but Kawhi Leonard’s absence may convince them to make a deal before the February 8 trade deadline.