Lakers’ LeBron James praises Kemba Walker for making Hornets relevant
The Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker had an underwhelming performance as a starter for Team Giannis during the All-Star Game. The eight-year veteran finished with four points, eight assists, and a rebound in 20 minutes of action. Still, Walker was praised by Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James during the post-All-Star Game press conference.
LeBron on Kemba: "He's made this franchise relevant." pic.twitter.com/cTBUic6DEV
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) February 18, 2019
Walker is averaging 23.9 points, 5.6 assists, and 4.4 rebounds per game this season, helping the Hornets remain in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference.
The three-time All-Star is set to become a free agent after this season, joining the likes of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving, who are all expected to explore their options. It has already been reported that there’s a possibility for these three to leave their current teams, and Walker could follow that suit.
However, Walker has made it clear that he is committed with the Hornets, and that he doesn’t plan to join a super team because he’d rather compete with his fellow All-Stars.
If Walker decides to stay with the Hornets, the next question is what will the Hornets front office do in order to improve the team? With the current roster that they have, their options are already limited.
Things could get more complicated for Charlotte if Walker is selected to be part of an All-NBA Team this season. He will be eligible for a five-year, $229 million contract extension. If the Hornets max him out, they will risk paying the luxury tax this season.
If the Hornets want Walker to remain with the team, they have to figure out a way to improve and that is going to be easier said than done.