The Charlotte Hornets will have a tough decision on their hands by the time the NBA trade deadline comes. While the team is still in it, thanks to playing in the Eastern Conference, they can’t lose sight that they have failed to make any real moves up the standings in the past three years. Why is that?
What has kept the Hornets from contending with the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Toronto Raptors?
Looking in, you would think that a team with offensive-minded players like Kemba Walker, Dwight Howard, Nicolas Batum, and Jeremy Lamb would be better than a below.500 team. But then again, why are we all so shocked? Since Walker arrived in Charlotte, he has led them to only two playoff appearances since 2011. With Kemba volleying for All-Star nods, he has to realize that while the selection is nice, it’s what happens afterward where reputations are built.
With Walker at the helm, the Hornets have won no more than 48 games, and that’s with them in the weaker East. So, what gives? While Kemba has improved every season, the team has not been able to take comfort in that fact. For some strange reason, the Hornets have not been able to fully build around the talents of Walker which might cause for them to ship him out of Charlotte.
Two players in the #NBA have averaged at least 22 pts, 5 asts, 4 rebs and shot 38% from 3pt line over the last three seasons.
— Chris Kroeger (@Kroeger) December 5, 2017
The NBA is a business and when a lineup is not working, it’s time to start over before it gets too late.
The Hornets can get a nice package for Walker according to Fansided from a number of teams. Maybe the San Antonio Spurs or the Miami Heat will be willing to make a swap of young prospects for Walker or the Chicago Bulls can jump in as well. With Kemba playing with a team-friendly contract, his time to cash in will come in 2019, but are they ready for such a payout to continue losing?
If the wheels continue to fall off before the deadline, Michael Jordan might be forced to trade his best player. While the team has surrounded Walker with the defensive-minded with Howard, the shooting of Batum, and Lamb, it’s been the power forward position that continues to hinder their growth.
— Ashley Holder (@AshNoelleTV) December 6, 2017
These are tough times for small market teams like the Hornets are facing with the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Houston Rockets having what are referred to as “super teams” on the floor nightly. The question Charlotte must ask themselves is, is it worth paying Walker $25 million per year for 40 wins or do we tear down and rebuild with assets from a trade?