After the Hornets suffer another disappointing season, rumors continue to swirl that Kemba Walker could be on his way out of Charlotte. Under new President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Mitch Kupchak, the Hornets may consider undergoing a rebuilding process in order to become a significant team in the league once again. One of the moves the Hornets are expected to make is finding Walker a new home.
Kemba Walker is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. If the Hornets decide to rebuild, it will be best for them to trade Walker this summer than lose him in free agency without getting anything in return. According to Jason Breece of Fansided’s 8 Points 9 Seconds, the Indiana Pacers should explore the possibility of acquiring Walker if the Hornets make him available on the trading block in the upcoming offseason.
Unlike the Hornets, the Pacers have made a surprising performance in the 2017-18 NBA season even without having a legitimate superstar on their team. Victor Oladipo managed to leave a good impression and proved to everyone that the Pacers aren’t the one who lost the Paul George trade last summer. Despite suffering an early exit in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, the Pacers gave LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers a tough fight and forced the series to Game 7.
In order to reach a higher level next season, Breece suggested that the Pacers should add more firepower and make Kemba Walker as one of their offseason targets. Playing alongside a ball dominant player, Russell Westbrook, in the Oklahoma City Thunder didn’t work well for Victor Oladipo, but that doesn’t mean that the same thing will happen if the Pacers succeed to acquire Walker. Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan could find a way on how Walker and Oladipo could mesh well in their backcourt and become one of the most explosive duos in the league.
In a suggested trade scenario, the Pacers will be needing to send Darren Collison, Al Jefferson, T.J. Leaf, and a 2018 first-round pick to acquire Kemba Walker from the Hornets. To make the deal possible, the Hornets should add more players to match the salary. With Collison and Jefferson’s contract about to expire next season, the Hornets will have the salary cap flexibility to chase their targets free agents in the summer of 2019. Leaf and the first-round pick could help them speed up the rebuilding process in the post-Walker era.