Buzz City Beat: Charlotte Hornets keep Kemba Walker, Grading the Willy Hernangomez trade

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 31: Willy Hernangomez
BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 31: Willy Hernangomez /

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Local Queen City companies are offering the NBA some incentives like free and free beer if they name Kemba Walker to the All-Star Game. ( In this edition of Buzz City Beat, we look at the Charlotte Hornets keeping Kemba Walker while also grading the Willy Hernangomez trade and seeing Damien Wilkins shine in his return to the Greensboro Swarm.

Charlotte Hornets #KeepKemba (Twitter/ @SteveReedAP)

"Comfirmed that Hornets did not trade Kemba Walker before trade deadline."

After weeks of speculation, Charlotte decided to hold onto their all-star point guard. The Cleveland Cavaliers tried their best to trade for Kemba but at the end of the day, Hornets’ owner Michael Jordan wasn’t willing to easily part with Walker. (Woj) Instead, the Cavs made multiple deals to get Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr., George Hill and Rodney Hood.

The Hornets stance on trading Kemba remained consistent. Although they weren’t actively shopping him, they were listening to offers but it’s clear that trade talks surrounding Walker didn’t get far. This will most likely make a majority of fans happy. Looking back on all of the rumors, it seems like Charlotte was never really that close to trading their point guard.

Grading the Willy Hernangomez Trade (

"They gave up two second-round picks, which as noted have value, especially with so many teams being short on cap space. However, the Hornets must have decided that they like what they’ve seen from Hernangomez, and believe he can be better than anyone they would have gotten with those picks."

Jack Maloney gave the Hornets a “B” grade for this trade which was slightly better than the “B-” he gave the Knicks. I think this is a good trade for Charlotte. They bought low on a somewhat young player who has at least decent upside after being named to the All-NBA Rookie First Team last season. The only problem is that their frontcourt is a little crowded and it may be difficult for Willy to get consistent minutes with his new team.

It’s a low-risk, high reward move for the Hornets. Maybe those two future second round picks will come back to haunt them but the best case scenario for those picks would probably be a player who could contribute like Hernangomez. This also saves Charlotte some money this season and going forward since the Spaniard is on a cheap contract. A “B” grade is fair until we see how Steve Clifford uses the big man.

Damien Wilkins shines in Swarm return (

"The Greensboro Swarm shot a blistering 52 percent from the field, including 43 percent on three-pointers, to hand the Fort Wayne Mad Ants a, 118-102, defeat. Damien Wilkins posted a game-high 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists in his first appearance with the Swarm this season."

Next: Rumor: Hornets interested in Mitch Kupchak for GM

In his first game back with Greensboro, the 38-year old led the Swarm in scoring as he played 34 minutes and put up a good all-around performance. Not only did Wilkins play well but the Hornets’ G-League affiliate also got the victory which was only their second win in their last six games. Maybe Damien was the missing piece and will be the spark this team needs to start stringing together some wins.