Charlotte Hornets: Re-signing Kemba Walker should be a top priority

Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Kemba Walker. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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The Charlotte Hornets are in the mists of the NBA offseason in a few months, and their top concern should be re-signing Kemba Walker.

When you think of the Charlotte Hornets, you usually will think about one player, Kemba Walker. During the offseason, Walker will become a free agent and will be free to negotiate with any team that he is interested in

The thought of this is scary, and the idea of many Hornets fans wanting him to walk is even worse. Without Walker, Charlotte just would not be the same and would lack the fire that many fans have been accustomed to in the past seasons since Walker has arrived in Charlotte.

Walker holds a majority of the Hornets’ Records now, and there is no doubt that he is the best Charlotte Hornet of all-time. Sadly, Charlotte has had a history of not re-signing and trading franchise players similar to Walker.

In the past, the Hornets have given up players like Stephen Jackson, Gerald Wallace, Glen Rice, Alonzo Mourning, Jason Richardson, and many more. The trend of not retaining star players must end in this year’s offseason.

As a Hornet, Walker has averaged a career stat line of 19.6 points, 5.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. The thing that really has been historic for him is the fact that he is averaging career highs in many statical categories this season.

"This season alone, Walker has broken the following All-Time Charlotte Hornets records:"

  • Points in a single game – (60)
  • Minutes played – (19,936)
  • Made field goals – (3,983)
  • Reached 10,000 points
  • Became an All-Star Starter

Not re-signing the best Charlotte Hornet of All-Time would be disastrous for the Hornets organization, and would have many fans disinterested in the team. The Hornets should not let this happen.

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Of course, there are a few thoughts when thinking about the possibility of re-signing Walker. There are the intangibles of Walker re-signing with the team, as Walker loves the city of Charlotte; and the number of costly contracts on the Hornets’ payroll.

Players like Nicolas Batum, Bismack BiyomboMarvin WilliamsMichael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Cody Zeller take up a lot of the team’s cap space. Two of those aforementioned players are currently bench players who do not receive playing time.

Biyombo and Kidd-Gilchrist have both started games for the Hornets this year, and both have received significant playing time off the bench. Over the past two games, Kidd-Gilchrist has received no playing time.

Besides these two players, having players who act as a reserve or come off the bench do not deserve huge contracts. Currently, Charlotte is paying a lot of money to have people sit and come off the bench.

These kind of contracts restrict what the Hornets can do when trying to re-sign Walker. If the Hornets want to keep Walker, they must do something with the Biyombo and Batum contracts, which are the two highest on the payroll.

We all know that Walker has already mentioned that he loves Charlotte and that he wants to be a player who stays with one team for his entire career, but if the team continues to have losing seasons and cannot pay him, it may be a dealbreaker.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep Walker and let him flourish for the rest of his career in Charlotte. Walker leads the team in scoring, and without him, the team would not be as dangerous offensively.

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Charlotte has a lot of thinking to do before the offseason, and it is up to the front office to find a way to retain Walker. Making the playoffs this year may be a good first step in contract negotiations for Walker.