Since the 2018 NBA offseason, the Charlotte Hornets continue to remind the entire league that they have no intention of trading Kemba Walker before the February NBA trade deadline. Despite their failure to make a deep playoff run in the past years, the Hornets still view Walker as the centerpiece of the title-contending team they are trying to build.
With Mitch Kupchak as their new general manager, Kemba Walker is confident that the Hornets are taking the right direction. In a recent appearance on ESPN’s The Jump, the 28-year-old All-Star point guard admitted that he has talked to Kupchak regarding their plans to make major roster upgrades, but he made it clear that he’s not getting himself involved.
“They know. They know what they got to do,” Walker said. “That’s not my job. I’ll leave it up to those guys. We have Mitch now, who’s a great guy who’s done a great job at building teams over his GM career. And I have a lot of trust in him. So, you know, we talk all the time. Who knows?”
Despite the explosive performance of Kemba Walker almost every night, their roster, as currently constructed, is not in a position to contend for the NBA championship title this season. In order to have a strong chance of beating Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, and the Philadelphia 76ers in a best-of-seven series, the Hornets obviously need more star power on their roster.
Without Devin Booker, Suns can't stop Kemba Walker, Hornets to remain winless on homestand https://t.co/UKCrAyy20K
— Arizona Sports (@sports_arizona) January 7, 2019
Based on Kemba Walker’s recent statements, it seems like the Hornets’ front office is already up to something. According to a previous Inquisitr report, the Hornets are one of the NBA teams who expressed “fairly strong interest” in acquiring Kevin Love from the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, Love is still recovering from an injury and yet to become trade-eligible.
Acquiring a second superstar will not only increase the Hornets’ chance of making a deep playoff run, but it could also help them further convince Kemba Walker to stay in Charlotte in the 2019 NBA free agency. When the 2018-19 NBA season is over, Walker and the Hornets are expected to enter a negotiation regarding a contract extension. If Walker will make it to any of the NBA All-Star teams, win the Most Valuable Player award, or be named as the Defensive Player of the Year, he will be eligible to sign a supermax contract worth $221 million over five years with the Hornets.
However, as of now, Kemba Walker said he’s not yet thinking about his impending free agency as he’s currently focused on helping the Hornets win games in the 2018-19 NBA season.
“I want to enjoy that process I guess, and just wait for it over the summer,” Walker said.