The Charlotte Hornets find themselves in the position no NBA franchise wants to find themselves in, an NBA purgatory of sorts, with a capped out roster that is not good enough to contend or even make the playoffs and not (quite) bad enough to bottom out.
So what is an NBA team to do in this situation? Usually you try and sell off your best veteran assets in order to clear some cap space, get additional draft picks and assist in bottoming out.
The Hornets best player is 27-year-old point guard Kemba Walker, who also happens to be on one of the more cap-friendly contracts in the NBA for a player of his caliber, at $12 million per season.
Here is the report from Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
“Overloaded with bad contracts and untradeable assets, the Charlotte Hornets have made All-Star point guard Kemba Walker available in trade discussions, league sources told ESPN.
Charlotte has been encouraging teams to make offers and appears eager to discuss attaching Walker to a larger trade in which another team would take on one of the Hornets’ several less desirable contracts, sources said.”
There should be a number of teams who would be willing to give up some value in order to acquire a borderline All-star caliber starting point guard like Kemba Walker, but the real kicker is having to take on one of the Hornets bad contracts for the next couple seasons like Dwight Howard or Marvin WIlliams.
Some point guard needy teams who come to mind that could be in play for Walker’s services include the often rumored Knicks, the Pistons, Nuggets and Magic.
If you look at the cap situation around the NBA at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a natural fit for a team that would have the space or desire to take on a bad contract from the Hornets while also in need for a veteran to help them compete for the postseason in 2018.
The Hornets best course of action is probably to keep Kemba through the end of the season at the very least, but after these rumors have gone public, the relationship may already have soured.