With the news that the Charlotte Hornets are prepared to listen to offers for All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, you could almost hear the sound of a million fans going right to the trade machine.
Pistons fans are one of the most vocal fan bases desperate for a difference maker, and a point guard to boot, of Walker’s caliber as the team looks to right the ship following the injury to Reggie Jackson.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton tried his hand at concocting some realistic trade scenarios for Walker, and a deal to the Detroit Pistons was among his suggestions.
In the deal, the Pistons would surrender the three years left on Reggie Jackson’s deal as well as Henry Ellenson, Anthony Tolliver, Stanley Johnson and “draft picks.”
After highlighting just how well Kemba and Marvin Williams would fit in Detroit, Pelton writes:
The challenge for the Pistons is getting Charlotte to sign off on a deal that offers little cap relief (Tolliver’s $3.3 million contract is the only expiring one the Hornets would get) and no exciting young players or picks. Detroit would have to hope Charlotte still believes in Johnson’s potential or offer multiple first-round picks to make this deal attractive.
Unfortunately, this is where I agree with Pelton. It’s not super appealing from Charlotte’s perspective. Pelton also suggest trades with the Cavs (Isaiah Thomas and Brooklyn pick featured), Pacers (pick and cap relief to take on Walker and Dwight Howard), Knicks (Frank Ntilikina), Suns (cap relief, Dragan Bender and Tyler Ulis to take on Walker and Dwight Howard), and Jazz (Rodney Hood, Ricky Rubio, Derrick Favors and a pick for Walker, Jeremy Lamb and Williams).
So how could the Pistons vault themselves to the front of theline?
First, they could offer to take on the monstrous contract of Nicolas Batum instead of or in addition to Williams. Batum is set to make an insane $78 million through 2020 and is surely the deal the Hornets are praying they can unload as the price for Walker’s services.
Another factor, which may or may not be in play at all, is the familiarity between Steve Clifford and Stan Van Gundy. Clifford was Van Gundy’s right hand man for years in Orlando.
This could mean that Van Gundy wants to do “right” by his friend, but also means that the system Walker (and Williams or Batum) would be moving to would look very familiar to what he is used to.
If you were the Charlotte Hornets, which deal would you be most interested in?
This poll is closed
CAVALIERS — Thomas, Frye, Brooklyn pick for Walker and O’Bryant
PISTONS — Jackson, Ellenson, Johnson, Tolliver, draft picks for Walker and Williams
PACERS — Collinson, Bogdanovic, Jefferson, first-round pick for Walker and Howard
KNICKS — Baker, Jack and Ntilikina for Walker
SUNS — Ulis, Bender, Dudley, Monroe and Williams for MCW, Stone, Walker, Howard and O’Bryant
JAZZ — Hood, Rubio, Favors, first-round pick for Walker, Lamb and Williams