After suffering another disappointing season, rumors are expected to swirl around Charlotte Hornets superstar Kemba Walker this summer. In a recent interview with Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, the 27-year-old point guard expressed his frustration with the Hornets’ inability to compete in the Eastern Conference playoffs. If things won’t improve in Charlotte, Walker hinted at the possibility that he could leave the Hornets for a title contender.
Per Spotrac, Kemba Walker is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019 where the Hornets could lose him for nothing without getting anything in return. If Walker doesn’t give the Hornets some assurance that he will re-sign, there is a high possibility that the All-Star guard will be available on the trading block in the upcoming offseason. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer sees the Cleveland Cavaliers as one of the potential trade destinations for Walker.
The Cavaliers’ main priority this summer is convincing LeBron James to stay. One of the few things that can persuade James to opt-in or sign an extension is for Cleveland to have a huge improvement on their roster. It’s worth noting that the Cavaliers tried to acquire Walker before the February trade deadline, and they may pursue him again once the Hornets officially make him available on the trade market.
“LeBron’s future is in flux, so pursuing a deal wouldn’t be wise unless he commits to re-signing. But pairing him with a versatile scoring guard like Walker could certainly entice him to do so. Walker’s game is similar to Kyrie Irving’s, and the floor could open for him in ways he’s never experienced before by playing alongside the King. Walker has gotten better each season, and there’s nothing stopping him from continuing his ascent.”
The potential acquisition of Kemba Walker will ease the load for LeBron James, especially on the offensive ends of the floor. Trading for Walker will give them their new “Big Three” that will make the Cavaliers the team to beat once again in the East. To acquire him from the Hornets, O’Connor suggested that Cleveland could send Jordan Clarkson, J.R. Smith, and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick to Charlotte for Walker and Cody Zeller.
The proposed deal works on the ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, it will help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster. The Cavaliers will have the perfect replacement for Kyrie Irving while acquiring a big man who could boost their frontcourt. Despite losing a superstar, the Hornets will receive a promising guard in Clarkson and a potential lottery pick in the 2018 NBA draft.