Kemba Walker has been the face of the Charlotte Hornets’ franchise since being drafted. He has grown into a legitimate star, but his future could be in jeopardy with the Hornets. Rumors have been swirling that Charlotte could consider trading their star point guard this offseason, and there will be quite a few teams interested in acquiring him if those rumors turn into reality.
If the Hornets do end up shopping Walker, the New York Knicks are a team that many think will try to acquire him. Even Bleacher Report listed the Knicks as one of their top landing spots for Walker in an article talking about realistic trades this offseason.
The article suggested that the Knicks would be able to acquire Walker in exchange for Trey Burke, Lance Thomas, and the No. 9 and No. 37 overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. That price tag would be more than worth it for the Knicks. Walker would immediately give the Knicks a second star to build around, alongside Kristaps Porzingis, if they can re-sign him next offseason.
Walker’s upcoming free agency in the 2019 NBA offseason is the biggest issue in potential trade talks. Any team that acquires the point guard will have to hope that he will re-sign with them after one season. Plenty of teams have given up a big trade package for a star and then seen them walk away after one season.
During the 2017-18 regular season with the Hornets, Walker averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. He shot 43.1 percent from the field and 38.4 percent from beyond the arc.
New York has not been considered a serious contender for a few years now. Trading Carmelo Anthony last offseason was the start of a new era. Scott Perry is trying to build the Knicks back to being a contender, and Walker would be a nice step in that direction.
Whether Walker would have interest in staying long-term with the Knicks is unknown at this point in time. Playing in a big market is always attractive for stars, and Walker would be welcomed with open arms by the fans at Madison Square Garden. New York is a fun city to be a star in, which could make re-signing with the Knicks a likely option for Walker.
Even as a 28-year-old point guard, Walker has room to grow his game. He made the All-Star game this season and has been growing as a leader on the court. Those qualities and skills are exactly what the Knicks need in their next point guard.
Frank Ntilikina and Emmanuel Mudiay are solid players, but they certainly aren’t Walker.
Expect to see Walker’s name brought in up quite a few trade rumors when the offseason gets underway. Charlotte may end up holding on to him, but it would not be shocking to see them gauge his trade value.