It was just announced that the Charlotte Hornets have been having conversations with the Cleveland Cavaliers regarding trading Kemba Walker. As of right now no one has released exactly what the Hornets would be trading Walker for, but the trade could be (even though I hate to see Kemba go) a great deal for both teams. I’m going to break down how this could be beneficial on both sides.
I want to start by first saying that I love Kemba and I am in no way excited to see him go. At any point since 2004, the year that Charlotte got another NBA team, there has not been anyone that has been more quintessential or iconic for this organization. When Kemba got drafted in 2011, us Charlotte Hornets fans finally had something to be excited and hopeful about, regardless of the terrible 2011 season. Kemba played a big part in taking us from the worst team to ever play in the NBA, to a playoff team in the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 seasons, and for that I cannot thank him enough.
However, after hearing about the trade rumors, we have to at least give the possibility of a trade some thought and consider the options. After this season, and especially after seeing their NBA Finals performance, there is no one other than LeBron James on that Cleveland Cavaliers squad that I think is worth getting from a Kemba trade. And let’s be real, there is absolutely no chance that LeBron would come to Charlotte, so that’s pretty much off the table. So.. What do the Cavs have to offer? The answer is: the number 8 pick in the 2018-2019 draft, which will probably lead to them picking Michael Porter Jr. with his value declining due to injuries knocking him down from the sixth pick. Even if Michael Porter Jr. isn’t on the table for the eighth pick, this draft is so packed with talent that there will definitely be great players left to choose from. This is the only asset that the Cavs have that would be worth the Hornets giving up their franchise player for, and this could be a game changer for the Hornets considering they also have the eleventh pick and two second round picks they received today from the Brooklyn Nets by trading Dwight Howard.
If you asked anyone why the Cavs didn’t beat the Golden State Warriors in the Finals this year, they will almost always respond by saying that LeBron didn’t have any help and everyone else on their team is terrible. This is one reason why Kemba would be a great addition to the Cavs team. Kemba isn’t as good of a player as Kyrie Irving is, but he sure is close. Kemba has a career average of 18.9 points, 5.4 assists, and 3.7 rebounds and has been improving every season to the point that this season he averaged 22.1 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.1 rebounds. While Kyrie has averaged 22 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.4 rebounds over his career, I think Kemba is the best option available to replace Kyrie in terms of playing style and overall skill. The second reason why Kemba would be a great addition to the Cavs roster is due to the fact that LeBron is tired of doing all of the work by himself and consistently getting let down by his subpar teammates. If the Cavs could get Kemba Walker on the team, LeBron might be more likely to stay in Cleveland.
All in all, I hope the Charlotte Hornets decide to keep Kemba Walker around because he is an amazing athlete. However, should they decide to trade him, I hope it is to a team like the Cavaliers where he has a better chance at a championship so he can be rewarded for being the great player that he is. If you’re reading this and wondering what might happen with LeBron if the Cavs don’t get Kemba and can’t find a way to convince him to stay in Cleveland, I recently wrote an article about the team that I think suits him best, and how I think he would fit in.