The departure of All-Star point guard Kemba Walker from the Charlotte Hornets is one of the most talked about topics in the league even before the 2018-19 NBA season started. The rumors and speculations that Walker will be leaving Charlotte heated up after the Hornets failed to earn a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The 28-year-old point guard may have expressed his desire to finish his NBA career and create something special in Charlotte, but he also made it clear that he wants to play for a team that can at least compete in the postseason.
If the Hornets decide to give Kemba Walker a maximum contract next summer, they won't have enough salary cap flexibility to chase big names in the free agency market, and the only way they can improve their roster is via trade. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report created a list of superstars that teams could target in the 2019 NBA offseason. For the Hornets, Buckley suggested that they could go after Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons.
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Hornets will be trading Malik Monk, Nicolas Batum, and their own 2019 first-round pick to the Pistons in exchange for Andre Drummond. The deal works on ESPN's NBA Trade Machine.
"Walker isn't asking for the world, which is critical because Charlotte's asset collection isn't rich enough to pay a major price. But maybe a current lottery pick and a recent one (Monk, the No. 11 selection in 2017) is enough to sway a Detroit Pistons team potentially open to shaking things up after a lopsided sweep in the opening round. Though losing two assets would sting, shedding Batum's remaining deal in the process would help convince the Hornets."Trading Malik Monk and their 2019 first-round pick is a tough decision for the Hornets, but it's the type of sacrifice that they should be willing to make if they want to convince Kemba Walker to re-sign in the 2019 NBA free agency. Andre Drummond will be an incredible addition to the Hornets, giving them an All-Star caliber center who is a monster rebounder and shot-blocker. This season, the 25-year-old big man averaged 17.3 points, 15.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.7 steals on 53.3 percent shooting from the field.
As Buckley noted, Andre Drummond's size and athleticism could make him a prolific pick-and-roll partner with Kemba Walker. Aside from acquiring a young and talented center, the deal will also allow the Hornets to get rid of Nicolas Batum and the $52.6 million he's owed over the next two years.