The Charlotte Hornets are ready to trade Kemba Walker, and while the New York Knicks or Cleveland Cavaliers may seem like the logical choice, the Philadelphia 76ers must put a bid in. According to ESPN, the Hornets will look to let Walker go for picks and players to help rebuild. What they don’t want are more oversized contracts. This is why the 76ers will be wise to put in an offer.
With Ben Simmons leading the way as the 76ers lead guard, why can’t Walker switch over to shooting guard? Sounds crazy since Walker has played his entire career at the point, however, he will be just as dangerous playing off the ball. It’s no secret that Walker loves to shoot. For the season, he averages 17.2 attempts per game, with seven coming from beyond the arc. This is one area where the 76ers need Walker.
Think about a starting lineup that includes Simmons, Walker, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid. With the 76ers fighting for playoff position, there’s no reason to believe they can’t catch the Cleveland Cavaliers for that third seed. However, trading for Walker will come with a heavy price tag.
The Charlotte Hornets are seeking players they can build around, picks and possibly the 76ers will have to take either Marvin Williams, Nicolas Batum or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. For most teams, that’s too much of a haul; however, for Philadelphia, that’s exactly what they need. The 76ers can swallow Walker’s contract at $12 million per and still have room for Kidd-Gilchrist ($13 million). What the 76ers can offer the Hornets is a package that includes Saric, J.J. Redick, Markell Fultz, and a 2018 second-round pick.
The Hornets may scoff at Redick’s salary ($23 million), but with most paid and the rest on a one-year deal, the Hornets can either trade or release him. Fultz could wind up as their new lead guard and Saric can easily slide into starting power forward spot for Charlotte.
This trade works for both teams. While losing Saric will sting for the 76ers, gaining a defensive wing like Kidd-Gilchrist will work out better, as Covington will swing back to the stretch-four position giving Embiid more room to operate on the blocks. As far as losing Fultz, it won’t be as big of a deal as some may think. The Philadelphia 76ers have played the majority of this rookie year without his services as Redick has held down the shooting guard position with success.
Adding Kemba Walker will move Fultz out the picture, so why not use the No. 1 pick to gain an All-Star player.