“I will say, Kemba gave me 60 tonight”
These words were uttered by 76ers Star Jimmy Butler after he silenced the Charlotte Hornets’ crowd with a game-winning 3 to seal a Philly victory. The crowd was on its feet seconds before that shot in large part due to Kemba Walker’s 60-point jaw-dropping performance. Sadly, the loss, paired with a Kemba highlight show, was just more of the same for the Hornets.
With the loss to the 76ers, the Charlotte Hornets dropped to 7-8 on the season and currently 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. Walker is currently 2nd in the NBA in scoring averaging 28.7 ppg and also 6.1 assists per game. Many fans wonder if Charlotte’s front office has put enough effort to build a solid team around Kemba.
They made a heavily criticized decision in the summer of 2016 by signing ‘3-and-D’ specialist Nicolas Batum to a contract worth 5 years/$120 Million and averaging $24 Million a year. Couple that with $17 million owed to Bismack Biyombo, and $14 million to Marvin Williams, and you have the Hornets’ top 3 paid players. Batum currently averages only 9.1 ppg, while Biyombo and Williams COMBINE to average 9.4 PPG. Kemba is owed only $12 million this season and is set to become a free agent this summer. Many analysts and fans feel he should leave for greener grass in the coming year.
So what do you get in Kemba Walker? You get a dynamic scorer with some of the best handles in the league who can also be a floor general. There is speculation that the Knicks and Lakers would be interested in Walker should he become available, but Hornets’ owner Michael Jordan has said on multiple occasions that his plans are to re-sign Kemba moving forward. While his plans haven’t come to fruition in the past, we are in for a crazy offseason once 2019 Free Agency begins.