Hornets eye Westbrook, Kemba, and Isaiah Thomas

Kemba Walker was a Hornet from 2014 to 2019.

Kemba Walker was a Hornet from 2014 to 2019.
Photograph: Getty Pictures

5 years after Michael Jordan infamously informed the world that “the ceiling is the roof,” his staff appears to be like to nonetheless be as confused as we’re.

In a busy offseason that’s been filled with league-shifting trades — and commerce requests — in addition to free agent signings, the Charlotte Hornets proceed to make NBA followers scratch their heads. With a younger roster that was fourth within the league in scoring, twenty fifth in protection, and tied for second within the Southeast Division earlier than shedding the play-in recreation to the Atlanta Hawks, all indicators level to the Hornets’ front-office making ready to signal an growing old level guard that may’t give them what they want, which is protection.

In line with The Athletic’s Shams Charania, “[T]he Hornets are contemplating a reunion with former franchise cornerstone Kemba Walker amongst different level guard choices, sources informed The Athletic. The staff can be within the potential re-signing of Isaiah Thomas, who had sturdy play final season and emerged as a constructive locker room chief in Charlotte.” Final month, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Hornets had “actual curiosity” in attempting to get Russell Westbrook.

Walker is 32 whereas Westbrook and Thomas are 33.

What provides?

The necessity for a veteran backup guard is apparent provided that the Hornets are one of many youngest groups within the league, however does that imply that it’s important to be rumored to have curiosity in each one in all them that might probably be available on the market?

Neither of the three match the mildew of what the Hornets must take the following step.

Thomas is attempting to completely discover his manner again into the league as he’s been popping up right here and there on 10-day contracts. However even at his peak, he made his cash by scoring, not enjoying protection. The identical might be stated for Westbrook and Walker. As a result of whereas they might have been succesful defenders throughout their finest years, it’s not what they have been paid to do. Moreover, age, harm, or each, have stripped all three males of the athleticism that when made them so particular.

Of the three, Walker looks as if essentially the most logical match after Charlotte took him ninth within the 2011 draft. It could be a return residence for the veteran who performed in Charlotte from 2011 to 2019, as he made three of his 4 All-Star appearances in a Hornets uniform. However, that is Jordan’s staff we’re speaking about, which signifies that making the logical resolution won’t be the ultimate resolution. This is identical franchise that fired Steve Clifford as their head coach in 2018, however finally needed to convey him again final month when he was rehired — however solely after Golden State assistant Kenny Atkinson modified his thoughts in regards to the job and determined to stick with the Warriors.

That is additionally a franchise that has no thought what to do with arguably its finest participant, as Miles Bridges led the staff in scoring final season and was anticipated to command a deal probably price $173 million over the following 5 years. However, that was earlier than Bridges was arrested for felony home assault earlier than the start of free company in an unpleasant state of affairs during which too many have been fixated on the tens of millions he could have misplaced as an alternative of the alleged sufferer.

If the Charlotte Hornets can enhance their win complete subsequent season, in hindsight it could be due to the veteran management they added to their backcourt. However proper now, they seem like a determined staff. And if you’re attempting to land gamers by way of free company or negotiations, that’s not all the time one of the simplest ways to current your self.

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