The Charlotte Hornets are already near to be buried deep in the luxury tax hell but they are nowhere near to becoming a legitimate title contender. This could be the reason why rumors continue to swirl around their superstar, Kemba Walker, who is expected to be moved before the February 8 trade deadline. However, according to Charlotte Observer, Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan made it clear that they are not actively shopping the All-Star point guard.
Jordan said that the only way a team could convince them to move him is if they will receive an All-Star player in return.
“It’s not like we are shopping him. We would not just give him up. I love Kemba Walker. I would not trade him for anything but an All-Star player.”
In the past months, Kemba Walker has been linked to several NBA teams looking to boost their backcourt and chance of winning the NBA championship title this season. However, only a few of them are willing to move an All-Star caliber player. This includes the reigning Eastern Conference champions, Cleveland Cavaliers.
Zach Lowe of ESPN suggested a deal that will send Isaiah Thomas and Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick for Kemba Walker and Nic Batum. The proposed blockbuster trade will also include Tristan Thompson and J.R. Smith as salary cap fillers. If this deal proceeds, it will definitely help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
The Hornets will be acquiring a new All-Star point guard who could lead the franchise in the coming years. Isaiah Thomas has been impressive during his stint in the Boston, but the recent games showed he doesn’t fit well in Cleveland, especially playing alongside LeBron James. Coach Tyronn Lue was noticeably having a hard time blending him with their other starters.
According to Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com, it will be best for the Cavaliers to trade Isaiah Thomas. Aside from struggling to make himself fit with the Cavaliers, there are speculations that Thomas hasn’t yet 100 percent recovered from his injury. However, Pluto believes the 28-year-old point guard will come back stronger next season. He could revive his career in a team like the Hornets where he could, once again, be the focal point on the offensive end.
Aside from Thomas, the Hornets will also receive the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. With the Nets still out of the playoff picture, there is a high possibility that the pick will be a lottery pick. The 2018 NBA draft will be loaded with the talented players that will help the Hornets immediately return to contention.
Meanwhile, the potential acquisition of Kemba Walker and Nic Batum will undeniably strengthen the Cavaliers’ chance of reclaiming the NBA championship title this season. Their current roster obviously stands no chance of beating the Golden State Warriors or even dominating the Eastern Conference. As Lowe noted, the blockbuster deal with Hornets is only a few of the trades that could make the Cavaliers better. Most of their previous targets, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George, are already out on the market. Not making a huge roster move before the February 8 trade deadline only means that the Cavaliers already give up on winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy back.