Kemba Walker Trade Rumors: Hornets Making Star PG Available in Talks

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2018

Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (15) drives against the Washington Wizards during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Chuck Burton/Associated Press

The Charlotte Hornets figure to be sellers at the trade deadline, and point guard Kemba Walker is reportedly being made available to teams in need of backcourt help.

Per ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski, in an effort to free up money, the Hornets are "encouraging teams to make offers and appear eager to discuss attaching Walker to a larger trade where another team takes on one of the Hornets' several far less desirable contracts."

Wojnarowski specifically noted Nicolas Batum, Dwight Howard, Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist have already been made available by the Hornets, but "those players and their contracts are largely unattractive in the marketplace."

Batum is in the second year of a five-year, $120 million deal he signed in 2016. Howard is owed $23.5 million next season. Williams will make $29.1 million over the next two years after the 2017-18 season. Kidd-Gilchrist has a $13 million salary in 2018-19 with a player option at $13 million for 2019-20. 

"I would definitely be devastated if I was to get traded," Walker said when asked about the rumors, via Dan Feldman of NBC Sports. 

The Hornets enter play Friday with an 18-25 record. They are currently four games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for the final playoff spot in the East.

Charlotte's payroll is $116.7 million this season and $115.8 million in 2018-19. Walker is signed to a team-friendly contract worth $12 million in 2017-18 and 2018-19.

An All-Star for the first time in his career last year, Walker leads the Hornets in scoring (21.7 points per game), assists (5.8) and steals (1.2) this season. The 27-year-old has averaged at least 20 points per game in each of the last three seasons.

     

Contract info via HoopsHype.

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