Charlotte Hornets: Kemba Walker is here to stay, what’s next?

CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 27: Kemba Walker /

With recent reports from The Athletic indicating Kemba Walker is here for the long haul, what does this mean for the future of the Charlotte Hornets?

The 2017-18 season was no walk in the park for anybody within the Charlotte Hornets organization. The head coach was on the hot seat after failing to get wins with a team that looked really good on paper. The GM was fired before the end of the season. The owner had to come out and deny trade rumors. But most importantly, the Hornets lone All-Star had trade rumors surrounding him by January.

Prior to this season, Kemba Walker was a complete stranger to the rumor mill. Rarely had his name ever come up in trade talks, and rightfully so; Kemba has brought this city the basketball buzz (pun intended) that it’s been missing since the days of Muggsy Bogues and Larry Johnson.

Players like Kemba Walker don’t come around Charlotte often and having a player of his caliber in trade rumors was. . . different. Fans were at odds on social media platforms regarding what to make of the situation and the overall direction of the team itself. For the first time in a while, talks of trading Kemba and blowing up the team were commonplace.

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Nonetheless, things sorted themselves out and Kemba is still a Buzz City resident, and per an article from The Athletic, he has no plans of leaving: “I’m a Hornet, and I’m planning on being a Hornet for a long time, so, yeah, I’m not sure about (New York).”

Though we should expect nothing less from the star guard, this is definitely reassuring for the Hornets’ faithful. Though some (including myself) thought that rebuilding the team was the right direction, putting Kemba through another rebuild is simply not an option. With this in mind, the only feasible option is to form another team around Kemba that can help provide the necessary help to make a serious playoff run.

The Charlotte front-office has tried to do this on multiple occasions, ending the short rebuild (featuring the historic 7-59 season) to build a team around the budding point-guard. The team brought the city some playoff excitement after making acquisitions such as Jeremy Lin and Courtney Lee. The question for the current front-office will remain the same: how can we form a team that can seriously compete in the playoffs.

As of right now, it’s going to be all about player development and building from within. Players like Miles BridgesMalik MonkDwayne Bacon, and Willy Hernangomez will be asked to take steps forward.

However, it will be interesting to see how Charlotte prioritizes bringing in new, but proven talent. Players like Tobias Harris, Kevin Love, and Rudy Gay could all be hitting free agency next offseason, and Charlotte should definitely display interest if they’re serious about contending.

Next: Why Each Charlotte Hornet Wing Could be Traded

Kemba Walker has shown he is committed to winning and doing so in Charlotte. In return, the front-office needs to do whatever it takes to build a team around him that can bring real, sustained success. Don’t get it twisted, win-now isn’t over in Charlotte and it won’t be for the foreseeable future.