Since the 2018 NBA offseason, the Charlotte Hornets have already revealed their plan to re-sign All-Star point guard Kemba Walker when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019. However, Walker is currently undecided if he still wants to be a Hornet or not. Walker may have expressed his desire to finish his NBA career and create something special in Charlotte earlier in the 2018-19 NBA season, but he also wants to be on a team that can at least compete in the playoffs.
If they are serious about keeping Kemba Walker in Charlotte, the Hornets should find a way to make a huge upgrade on their roster in the 2019 NBA offseason. With the Hornets expected to offer Walker a max contract, they don’t have enough money left to go after quality players in free agency. The most realistic way to improve their roster is by taking the trade route, and according to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade targets for the Hornets next summer is Jrue Holiday of the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Never mind the merits of paying Walker that much. Money might not be enough. He has missed the playoffs in six of his eight seasons. Winning should loom large when compensation will be comparable elsewhere. Adding Jrue Holiday at least gives Charlotte a semi-automatic line to the postseason. He alleviates the ball-handling burden ferried by Walker but has cut his teeth over the past few years in an off-guard role, and his experience defending the 1 through 3 spots allows the Hornets to freely tinker with individual matchups. Between he and Miles Bridges, Walker may get to spend more time on standstill assignments.”
STORY: End of year review: Jrue Holiday’s career year provides promise for Pelicans’ future https://t.co/CLqwbAQkfR
— Will Guillory (@WillGuillory) May 7, 2019
The potential acquisition of Jrue Holiday will ease the load on Kemba Walker’s shoulders, especially on the offensive end of the floor. In 67 games he played this season, Holiday averaged 21.2 points, 7.7 assists, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.6 steals on 47.2 percent shooting from the field and 32.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Holiday’s natural position may be the same as Walker, but his lone season of playing alongside Rajon Rondo proved that he can also efficiently play as a shooting guard and excel in an off-ball capacity.
To acquire Jrue Holiday from New Orleans, Favale suggested that the Hornets could offer a trade package including Bismack Biyombo, Malik Monk, a 2019 first-round pick, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick. The proposed trade deal will not only be beneficial for the Hornets but also for the Pelicans, especially if they decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild in the post-Anthony Davis era. The deal will enable the Pelicans to acquire a young and talented player and future draft picks without absorbing any long-term money in return.