Two-time NBA All-Star Kemba Walker has just finished his seventh season in the league, all with his current club, the Charlotte Hornets. Despite his deemed value, there are rumors that this could be his final year with the team as speculations are out that the club might decide to trade him this summer.
Walker was linked to numerous teams before this year’s trade deadline, which led to team owner Michael Jordan explaining to him what the rumors were all about and that they are not looking to trade him. Still, Fox Sports reported that the former Connecticut standout is unsure of his future in Charlotte.
“I have no idea,” Walker told reporters after the Hornets’ 119-93 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night, their season finale. “That is out of my control. I am just going to focus on getting better as a player. That is really all you can do. I don’t know what they are going to do.”
Walker, who will turn 28 years old next month, is in the third year of his four-year, $48 million deal with the Hornets. He will become eligible in unrestricted free agency at the end of next season, which is when he can decide whether he wants to stay in Charlotte or not. At the moment, his immediate future is really in the hands of the Hornets.
The Hornets have recently hired Mitch Kupchak as president of basketball operations and general manager. According to reports, the presence of the former Los Angeles Lakers GM would be a huge factor in terms of where Walker might end up next season.
Yardbarker indicated that Charlotte is likely to make “wholesale roster changes” and to fire head coach Steve Clifford in the coming offseason as the team attempts to undergo a full rebuild. With that, Walker’s place in the club’s long-term plans is said to be up in the air.
Kupchak has been nonchalant when asked about his plans for Walker, saying that he likes “a player that doesn’t want to be somewhere where he’s going to lose,” as per the Charlotte Observer. The general manager was reportedly pertaining to the All-star point guard’s previous comments that he is tired of his team not qualifying for the playoffs.
Kupchak then said that Walker is a “great player” and that he was “very aware of his talent.” He continued that Walker’s good reputation in the locker room and the community as a whole makes him a desirable player for any team.