Charlotte Hornets superstar Kemba Walker continues to be part of various NBA rumors. Walker is definitely unhappy with the Hornets’ inability to contend for the title, and with his contract set to expire after next season, most people believe the 28-year-old point guard will be traded this offseason.
Being mentioned in the rumor mill is nothing new to Kemba Walker. Instead of being distracted, Walker remains focused on doing what he is supposed to do and prepare himself for what could possibly happen. However, new Hornets General Manager Mitch Kupchak doesn’t seem to be interested in entertaining the idea of parting ways with their franchise player.
Kupchak said that they still want Walker to be the focal point of the team going forward. Walker felt a sense of relief when he heard Kupchak’s statement. Walker is definitely aware of the trade rumors involving him, but he “could care less.”
“I want to feel wanted, of course,” Walker said, via NBA.com. “It feels good. I’m excited he did it. I’m a Hornet. I’m going into my eighth year and I’m excited like it’s my rookie year. I’m here right now and that’s all I can really think of. I’ve got to control what I can control… that’s really about it. I’m not even thinking about it. I see it all the time. I hear about it all the time. I hear about the rumors, but I could care less. I’m a Hornet and that’s really all that matters.”
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) June 29, 2018
When Mitch Kupchak traded the expiring contract of Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets for Timofey Mozgov’s lucrative deal, most people expected the Hornets to undergo a full-scale rebuild. The main part of the process is moving Kemba Walker for young players and future draft picks. One of the NBA teams who expressed strong interest in acquiring Walker is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There is a growing belief in Cleveland that the potential acquisition of Walker could strengthen their chance of re-signing LeBron James, who recently opted out of the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent in July. However, Brian Windhorst of ESPN speculated that the door for a Walker-to-Cavaliers trade “has closed.”
As of now, it remains questionable what the Hornets plan to do this offseason after deciding to keep Kemba Walker on their roster. The Hornets, as currently constructed, are not in a position to dominate the weak Eastern Conference next season. If they suffer another disappointing season, it is highly likely that Walker will leave the Hornets as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019.