Although reports suggest that Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is a big fan of the team’s first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Alabama point guard Collin Sexton, the latest NBA trade rumors suggest that Sexton going eighth overall to the Cavs might not be enough to keep him in the wine and gold for the 2018-19 season. Instead, Cleveland might have to trade for another point guard — Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets — if they don’t want James to become an unrestricted free agent and take his talents elsewhere.
In an article published Friday on Bleacher Report, Ken Berger wrote that all of the NBA team executives he spoke to via text message had the same feedback when they were asked if Sexton’s selection would be enough to convince LeBron James to stay in Cleveland. These unnamed executives, Berger wrote, all answered in the negative, and still believe that the Cavaliers are still “guessing” as to whether James will stay with the team or leave via free agency.
Bleacher Report referenced the last time when James suggested one of his personal favorites as his team’s first-round selection in the NBA Draft, which was in 2014 when the Miami Heat drafted University of Connecticut point guard, Shabazz Napier. As it turned out, James still bolted Miami during the 2014 offseason, returning to Cleveland despite the Heat following his draft day recommendation.
The Cavaliers are still after Kemba Walker to try and keep LeBron James https://t.co/yiHnEWYKks
— ShortyP(HMI220.127.116.11) (@HustleBoiMuzik) June 22, 2018
Likewise, it was also stated that the Cavs are still looking into the possibility of trading for Kemba Walker, a two-time All-Star who averaged over 22 points per game for the Charlotte Hornets in the 2017-18 NBA season. While trade rumors of Cleveland sending the eighth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft to Charlotte in exchange for Walker did not come to pass, a source close to the 28-year-old point guard told Bleacher Report’s Berger that it’s still “possible” that the Cavs will trade for him. Another source, however, went as far as to suggest that trading for Walker would be “the only way LeBron stays” with the team.
Reacting to the above rumor, other rival executives shot down the claim, with one joking that James would only be persuaded to remain a Cavalier if he was given “ownership of the team.” An unnamed Western Conference executive, on the other hand, gave James a 50-50 chance of remaining in Cleveland, as he “runs the city and the arena.”
Talk of the Cavaliers showing interest in Kemba Walker is nothing new. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, ESPN suggested a trade scenario prior to this year’s draft that might prove advantageous to both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets — trading youngsters Jordan Clarkson and Cedi Osman, the eighth pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, and veteran sharpshooter Kyle Korver to Charlotte in exchange for Walker and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. It was also noted that such a trade had the potential of preventing LeBron James from entering unrestricted free agency, while also giving eighth overall pick Sexton a chance to play immediately as the Hornets’ “point guard of the future.”