Welcome to Buzz City Beat, a daily roundup of the best articles from around the internet surrounding the Charlotte Hornets.
The NBA has released Kemba’s All-Star jersey but the bad news is that they may night be available for purchase. In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at where the Charlotte Hornets sit in the post-trade deadline NBA power rankings, the possibility of Kemba Walker being traded this summer and retaining Dwight Howard for next season.
Hornets fall in post-trade deadline power rankings (USAToday.com)
The Hornets have lost three or more consecutive games five times this season, including this current four-game skid.
Charlotte dropped one spot from No. 20 last week to No. 21 this week. They didn’t make any significant moves prior to the trade deadline and with the all-star break coming up, it’s unlikely that the Hornets will move up in the rankings anytime soon. Unless they can go on an improbable run post-All-Star break, this is probably around where they will sit for the remainder of the season.
The Golden State Warriors moved into the top spot while the Houston Rockets, the Toronto Raptors, the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers round out the top-five. The new-look Cavs climbed four spots since making a number of deals at the trade deadline. We’ll see if the Hornets can turn things around in the second half of the campaign.
Will Charlotte trade Kemba this offseason? (BleacherReport.com)
Owner Michael Jordan wouldn’t move Walker for less than an All-Star, but that stance must change this summer because keeping the Hornets’ best player would lead to one of two unpalatable scenarios: surrendering him for nothing in free agency or signing him to a megadeal that runs well into Walker’s post-prime career.
B/R lists Walker as one of the most likely players to be traded this summer along with Nikola Vucevic, Dennis Schroder, Jonas Valanciunas, C.J. McCollum, Kenneth Faried and/or Wilson Chandler and Reggie Jackson. Of those players, Kemba is the biggest name on the list and the most accomplished player with two all-star appearances to his name. A trade involving the Hornets’ star hinges on his commitment to the team going forward.
If Walker is interested in signing an extension this offseason, there will likely be little hesitation from Charlotte to get a deal completed but if he is hesitant about an extension, the trade rumors and talks will heat up. His trade value will be lower this summer than it was before the trade deadline. The most likely scenario is that the Hornets sign him to an extension because Kemba has shown few signs of wanting to leave the Queen City team.
Dwight Howard needs to stay (iSportsWeb.com)
While everyone is likely looking to next season, there is one big component of the team that really should not change; Dwight Howard. He has one more year on his contract and is set to make a tad south of $24 million. If Charlotte can manage to get rid of some of the other bounding contracts on the team, that pretty penny would be worth it for Dwight.
Even though Howard is past his prime and entering the later stages of his career, he is thriving with the Hornets. And while Charlotte could save money by trading the big man, it’s unlikely that anyone would be willing to take on his salary. Plus, if they want to compete for a playoff spot next season, Dwight could play a big role in them getting back to the postseason. I’m all for keeping the eight-time all-star, especially if he keeps producing the way he has been this year.