Kemba Walker is without question one of the most dynamic point guards in the NBA and has been the face of the Charlotte Hornets since being drafted with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. There have been rumors over the past couple of offseasons that Walker might want a trade out of Charlotte. While those rumors have persisted, no trade talks have become too serious.
Now, Walker is opening up about wanting to remain with the Hornets long term and shot down the rumors of him potentially heading to the New York Knicks next offseason.
In a recent interview with Michael Scotto of The Athletic, Walker talked about the Knicks’ rumors and staying with the Hornets.
“As far as seeing me in New York, I doubt it. I’m a Hornet, and I’m planning on being a Hornet for a long time; so, yeah, I’m not sure about that [New York].”
He did have some kind words for the city of New York. For those who didn’t know, Walker grew up in the Bronx.
“It means a lot; it means everything. Without New York, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I know what these kids go through on a daily basis. I’ve grown up the same way they have, but you know I just stayed on the right path of school, hard work, basketball and just being a good person, and I made it out.”
Needless to say, this is a breath of fresh air for the Hornets and their fans. Walker coming out and talking about wanting to remain with the franchise will give fans hope of keeping their star point guard long term.
Last season with the Hornets, Walker ended up averaging 22.1 points per game to go along with 5.6 assists and 3.1 rebounds. He shot 43.1 percent from the field overall and knocked down 38.4 percent from behind the three-point arc. Those numbers show why he was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
Charlotte will have some decisions to make at the trade deadline this year. While Walker has finally come out and said he wants to stay with the Hornets long term, he is still set to hit free agency next offseason. There is always a chance he could change his mind and end up leaving town for nothing.
More than likely, the Hornets will keep him through the deadline and try to re-sign him. Walker seems to enjoy playing in Charlotte, but quite a few players in the past have talked about loving their current city and still ended up leaving when other teams come calling.
Expect to continue hearing rumors about Walker being a potential trade target for teams leading up to the deadline. Charlotte will have some offers to consider and Mitch Kupchak will have to make a tough decision.