All-Star point guard Kemba Walker looked destined to finish the 2018-19 NBA season with the Charlotte Hornets. However, with the Hornets remaining as a mediocre team in the Eastern Conference, most people believe that it’s time for them to part ways with Walker and start a full-scale rebuild.
If they finally decide to take a different route, the Hornets could trade Kemba Walker for assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. One of the potential trade destinations for Walker is the Los Angeles Lakers. Since the 2018-19 NBA season, the Lakers have been looking for a second superstar to pair with LeBron James.
To have a real chance of challenging the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, for the Western Conference supremacy, the Lakers obviously need more star power on their roster. In the proposed trade deal with the Hornets, Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation suggested that the Lakers could send Lonzo Ball to Charlotte for Kemba Walker. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“The Charlotte Hornets have expressed a desire to keep their dynamic point guard around long-term, but he will be a free agent this summer and if they get the impression he will leave, they would be best-served to find a trade so they can get something in return. A straight-up trade for Lonzo Ball would work financially and allow the Lakers to bolster their scoring punch with the 28-year-old Walker, who is currently third among guards in Eastern Conference All-Star voting while putting up 25.1 points and 5.8 assists per game.”
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 13, 2019
Lonzo Ball will give the Hornets a young pass-first point guard with lots of superstar potential. In Charlotte, Ball will be joining the core of Malik Monk and Miles Bridges, and he could be mentored by one of the best floor generals in league history, Tony Parker. In exchange for their lone superstar, the Hornets could still demand a future first-round pick as a sweetener.
Trading Lonzo Ball for Kemba Walker could help the Lakers improve their offensive efficiency that currently ranks 21st in the league, scoring 105 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. However, the deal comes with a big risk, especially knowing the fact that Walker could leave next July as an unrestricted free agent. Before engaging in a trade negotiation with the Hornets, the Lakers should first get an assurance that Walker intends to stay long-term in Los Angeles.
The acquisition of Kemba Walker will undeniably increase the Lakers’ chance of ending their playoff drought this season, but it remains unknown if he’s the player that could help LeBron James bring the team back to title contention.