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Kemba Walker is the franchise player for the Charlotte Hornets

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#1 Andrew Barraclough Posted 30 June 2018 - 06:20 PM

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Kemba Walker is the franchise player for the Charlotte Hornets. He just is. He’s not marketable in the way Larry Johnson or Baron Davis was. I see so many Panthers players on local car dealership ads, Cam Newton was on some yogurt ads nationally, Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis are all over CPI. Hornets players, currently, not so much. Kemba appeared in the background of the HBO show Ballers. Don’t blink, you’ll miss it. He’s a two time NBA All-Star.

I love Kemba Walker. I’ll go to bat for that dude. I hate, hate to see him involved in trade talks. Especially with Cleveland.

Longtime, now retired columnist with the Charlotte Observer, Tom Sorensen made the case that now is the time to trade Kemba. He called him the “blue light special,” which for you younger readers is an allusion to KMart (the store not Kenyon Martin). KMart would have a cart or a table with a blue light above it and they’d make an announcement “Attention KMart Shoppers! There is a Blue Light Special on Charmin!” People would flock to this blue light. Now I think of blue light special as getting pulled over. You see those blue lights, you want to puke. Kemba is no blue light special, in either respect.

Be assured, I don’t agree with a lot that’s in that article, especially the premise. Kemba’s value at this point, as a chip to bargain with and what you get in return, plus the years you can offer, the money his team at the end of his contract can throw at him, is very advantageous for his team. The Hornets are that team. Why can’t all those advantages be the property of Charlotte, along with keeping the good will of holding onto the franchise’s best player?

What would The Hornets possibly get in return for Kemba Walker in trade? Nicola Vucevic? Thanks Mike Ortiz Jr! #8 Overall? Wow, all to keep Lebron James in Cleveland? We appreciate your info and “sources” Joe Vardon! (With Lebron opting out today, the discussions have cooled according to Brian Windhorst) I saw something on YouTube related to the Knicks but I couldn’t stand the guy’s voice to hear it.

There are no legit rumors because I don’t think The Hornets are shopping Kemba. I think they’re 100% honest when they say that they will listen but they see Kemba Walker finishing his career in Charlotte. That’s according to Rick Bonnell of the Observer from Mitch Kupchak’s presser introducing this year’s rookies. It will be extremely difficult to extend Kemba’s contract before he’s a free agent because of the tightness to the cap. Michael Jordan will not pay the luxury tax to finish 7th in the East. I wouldn’t either. The CBA and the salary cap are what they are. Rich Cho and even Rod Higgins have made the bed in which the Hornets now lie. It’s not Kemba Walker’s fault that the new TV money makes him the 6th Highest paid player on the team.

In last year’s All Star Game, where Kemba was the last man in as an injury replacement, Kemba was the 4th up from the bottom. Porzingis (based on rookie scale), Embid (based on rookie scale(he gets $25 million next season)), Karl Anthony-Towns (rookie scale) then Kemba. The next on the list is Draymond Green who makes $3 million more per year than Kemba. Underestimates and a slow build to the player that he is has made Kemba Walker probably the best deal in the NBA not on a rookie contract. Why trade that away? Why lose all the cards for what? A rebuild? A younger player on a slow build?

There are very few known things, and even fewer sure things. Kemba Walker, for Charlotte, has become very close to a known entity. The theory that he is a bargaining chip, and a great one, totally flies in the face of what an NBA team should be trying to do. Super teams, Lebron, MVP runs with a cast of characters who do one or two things extremely well, these are the things running the NBA now. The Hornets don’t have that, any of that. Everyone wants to be the Sixers but what have they done? How hard is that to actually pull off? Unbelievable luck. Boston? They have had amazing transformations somehow, KG and Pierce begat the picks that became Smart and Tatum and Mr Irrelevant 2011 begat Kyrie and thus Gordon Hayward. How? Who knows? Danny Ainge made a deal with the devil?

So, with what the Hornets currently have, can they make a huge run at a top pick? Can they make a run at a transformational talent that’s a free agent? Can they make a Godfather offer for picks/players/slow builds? I don’t care, because if it takes trading away Kemba Walker, I am not going to accept it.


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#2 ziggy Posted 30 June 2018 - 06:28 PM

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Playing Devil's advocate Andrew.

 

As a fan of Kemba, do you really want him to see him languish away the best years of his career on a team that will be either in the lottery or if they are lucky, first round playoff cannon fodder?

 

Or would you rather see him traded away to a contender where he can play meaningful games in the months of May/June AND possibly return some young talent/picks for the Hornets to rebuild?


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#3 nowhere fast Posted 30 June 2018 - 07:04 PM

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There are no legit rumors because I don’t think The Hornets are shopping Kemba. I think they’re 100% honest when they say that they will listen but they see Kemba Walker finishing his career in Charlotte. That’s according to Rick Bonnell of the Observer from Mitch Kupchak’s presser introducing this year’s rookies. It will be extremely difficult to extend Kemba’s contract before he’s a free agent because of the tightness to the cap. Michael Jordan will not pay the luxury tax to finish 7th in the East. I wouldn’t either. The CBA and the salary cap are what they are. Rich Cho and even Rod Higgins have made the bed in which the Hornets now lie. It’s not Kemba Walker’s fault that the new TV money makes him the 6th Highest paid player on the team.

Click here to view the article

 

It's not about Kemba. It can't be when Kemba staying or going is out of the FO's hands. A trade falling through means they don't have the leverage to get back what they need in return. Why would anyone take on Nic's salary when they can bank on the Hornets not making the playoffs in Kemba's contract year.


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#4 Adam42R Posted 30 June 2018 - 10:49 PM

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Amen Andrew, really well said. I think many forego the EIQ aspect of all of this looking at numbers first when there's both a behavioral and calculated side to all actions, on the FO side as well as the players.  I too found the Sorrenson article frustrating at best and beyond the blue light jazz, it was taking things for granted that we cannot.  

 

 


There are very few known things, and even fewer sure things. Kemba Walker, for Charlotte, has become very close to a known entity. The theory that he is a bargaining chip, and a great one, totally flies in the face of what an NBA team should be trying to do. Super teams, Lebron, MVP runs with a cast of characters who do one or two things extremely well, these are the things running the NBA now. The Hornets don’t have that, any of that. Everyone wants to be the Sixers but what have they done? How hard is that to actually pull off? Unbelievable luck. Boston? They have had amazing transformations somehow, KG and Pierce begat the picks that became Smart and Tatum and Mr Irrelevant 2011 begat Kyrie and thus Gordon Hayward. How? Who knows? Danny Ainge made a deal with the devil? 

 

 

 

I particularly want to underline this; it's what I think is so easily glossed over because it doesn't fit into a quick argument most make for why you trade him. What we in fact have is someone that brings fans out of their homes to go to a game. That's not as easily done as most might think. This fanbase has been slowly building up for years, a few hundred more added to the STH base one year, a thousand the next. Over time, we have visually filled out the arena. I cannot readily rattle off attendance numbers but despite a down tick the last year or two, we have been adding year over year. Dunlap's first year, and Clifford's, I could get to games after the tip and still get Rockstar parking across the street. A Friday night then against an Indiana Pacers team looks like a bad Tuesday night game now. We had more folks this past year show in a snow game than we used to get in normal weekday games just five or six years ago. That stuff matters. And to me, irrespective if it's some calculated good swap of draftee + payroll save to send away the only two-time All Star in the "current" Hornets incarnation; you are just telling those folks that have skin in the game that they can either drop out (next year cause we're paid in now) or just pay a couple more years while they try draft their way to something that no actual team has ever done. 

 

 

 


As a fan of Kemba, do you really want him to see him languish away the best years of his career on a team that will be either in the lottery or if they are lucky, first round playoff cannon fodder?

 

Or would you rather see him traded away to a contender where he can play meaningful games in the months of May/June AND possibly return some young talent/picks for the Hornets to rebuild?

 

I am a fan of Kemba Walker the Bobcat and Hornet. If we send him away for speculation, I might find myself more of a fan of Kemba Walker the Laker/Cav/Buck than the actual Hornets. If he choses to leave, I'll wish him well and cheer his intro any time he comes back; but the first time on the court, I'll pray we blitz him high and stymie him there. I don't buy into the notion that we aren't a far better team than our results last year. If I did, I would have a hard time rationalizing everything I believe about this team. But I also don't need this team to win a Championship to have a complete life. I just want something that is fun to watch, gives me hope, and that I have faith can get us to a second round, or possibly beyond some day. But if Kemba plays here 15 years and we never reach an ECF, I wouldn't think my or his life is any less fulfilled. There's something a bit odd that we must be on track for a chip or else we should be tanking for draft picks. Let's see the 76ers resign everyone in their stable and reach the promised land before we declare that's a smart move.


Here comes McRoberts, the throw to Walker, it's in the aaaaaiiiiirrrr, YESSSSS! Bobcats win it! My my my, Kemba Walker. Steve Martin - Toronto 12/18/2013
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