Kemba Walker trade rumors are now being addressed by the guard himself. A lot of NBA trade rumors have suggested that the Charlotte Hornets are ready to deal Walker in a blockbuster move before the NBA trade deadline. Other teams have expressed a lot of interest, but now a report by the Charlotte Observer relays quotes directly from Walker.
As would be expected, Walker was surprised and dismayed when he first learned that the Hornets were listening to offers for him. It’s never easy for a player to learn that his team is “canvassing” the league for the right trade package. That was the word that a report by ESPN used in regard to the situation, and something that has since been confirmed by several outlets, including the Charlotte Observer.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan would later try to clarify the Kemba Walker trade rumors, stating that the franchise wasn’t actively shopping its star player. Those words are just semantics, though, as the team was openly courting offers from other teams. Walker was reportedly “devastated” to hear about the NBA trade rumors, especially since it came from ESPN rather than the front office of the Hornets. To say the relationship between the player and team is fractured would now be an understatement.
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) February 3, 2018
In his past two games for the Hornets, Walker has scored 38 and 41 points respectively. When it comes to trade value, Walker has certainly increased his stock since the first NBA trade rumors mentioning his name came out. In 49 games with the Hornets this year, he is now averaging 22.8 points, 5.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.2 steals a night. He also has a team-friendly deal that pays him $12 million this season and the same rate for the 2018-19 NBA campaign.
The latest NBA trade rumors don’t indicate that a deal involving Walker is close, but that could certainly shift since the trade deadline arrives on February 8. If there is a team that is willing to work to acquire Walker, they will likely have to take on the contract of either Dwight Howard or Nicolas Batum as well. If Charlotte is going to rebuild, they want to clear some of the long-term salary commitments.
Has Charlotte backed itself into a corner by making Walker available? Only time will tell, but the situation may now suggest he will be less willing to sign a long-term extension with the franchise. If the front office feels that the relationship is broken for good, then that could lead to even more Kemba Walker trade rumors in the next few days as well as during the next NBA offseason.