The Hornets would like to engage the Knicks in trade talks involving point guard Kemba Walker, but the two teams have yet to have any substantive discussions, league sources tell Ian Begley of ESPN. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday, the Hornets are open to moving Walker, though the star guard won’t come cheap.
Any potential trade partner with interest in Walker would likely have to be willing to take on one of Charlotte’s less desirable contracts — Nicolas Batum, Dwight Howard, Marvin Williams, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are among the highly-paid Hornets who fit that bill. Additionally, according to Wojnarowski, the Hornets are hoping that the inclusion of Walker in a salary-shedding deal would help the club land a good young player or a first-round pick.
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As Begley notes, it makes sense that Charlotte would view New York as a good match, since the Knicks have a talented young point guard prospect in Frank Ntilikina and haven’t traded away any of their future first-round picks.
Still, Begley is skeptical that the Knicks will be willing to match the Hornets’ asking price. The club was very reluctant during the offseason to take on any sizable long-term salary commitments in a Carmelo Anthony trade, and it’s unlikely that stance has changed. Additionally, in order to match salaries with the Hornets, the Knicks might want to include one of their own long-term contracts, such as Joakim Noah‘s or Courtney Lee‘s, which wouldn’t appeal to Charlotte.