The Charlotte Hornets have made Kemba Walker available in trade discussions, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
ESPN Sources: Charlotte making All-Star guard Kemba Walker available in trade talks. Story: https://t.co/4u3mLpmHcH— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 19, 2018
Wojnarowksi reports that the Hornets are, “encouraging teams to make offers and appear eager to discuss attaching Walker to a larger trade in which another team would take on one of the Hornets’ several far-less-desirable contracts.”
Wonderful. Just wonderful.
Objectively, I understand. A way to shed bad contracts and get a good return is to attach a desirable player. Walker is the most desirable player on the Hornets. Teams in need of an All-Star point guard would do well to inquire.
But trading Walker sends arguably the best player in franchise history away, when, by that own player’s account, he wants to be here.
Woj states the Hornets are hopeful they can “bring back a good, young player or a first-round draft pick” in exchange for Walker. Well, yes, I hope they can as well, because selling this team to fans without Walker is going to be very difficult.
Given the way the season has gone and their lack of cap flexibility, Charlotte should absolutely consider all options, including trading Walker. That said, it’s unsettling that they are “encouraging” teams to consider him, as Woj reports. Moving Walker means bottoming out, and that means a long rebuild in front of us. Rich Cho of all people should understand that tanking and rebuilding won’t go as well as expected. There is no formula for tanking that gets it right; often, it comes down to drafting right regardless of the pick, and getting a bit of luck.
The trade deadline is February 8th, so one way or another, a conclusion will be sorted out soon. Whatever happens, I hope the team and all of us are ready.