The Philadelphia 76ers are just on the verge of becoming one of the most stacked teams in the entire Association. They balance experience youth with veteran leadership and are one of the most talented teams in the league.
They’re poised to take the Eastern Conference for assault any time soon, but truth to be told, they need to add a bit more talent to their roster if they intend to be contending for a Championship right away.
Moreover, the Markelle Fultz situation isn’t doing much to help their chances right now, so they definitely need to address that situation and find a win-win scenario. If so, we actually believe they should and could pursue Kemba Walker.
As a matter of fact, even though the Hornets aren’t shopping Kemba according to Sham Charania, trading him to the Sixers would arguably give them the most value from their All-Star point guard.
The Hornets have put together a bit of a nice stretch but aren’t in a true position to compete right away. Even so, Bridges and Monk look like nice pieces to build around, but they have no guarantee Kemba will stay beyond this year.
So, in order to make numbers work, the Sixers could trade Markelle Fultz, Zhaire Smith or a 2019 and 2021 1st round pick (from Miami) to go along with a 2019 2nd round pick (from Chicago), according to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report.
Walker would give Philly a Big Four with Butler, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Star-power overload is a real thing, but the fit would be fairly clean. Walker plays like a lifeline in Charlotte because he has no choice. He has spent more time off the ball in years past and is knocking down 39.4 percent of his catch-and-shoot threes this season.
Failing to shed salary as part of this blockbuster would hurt the Hornets. They could try brokering a Marvin Williams-for-Wilson Chandler swap, but the Sixers’ lack of depth on the wing would make that tough. Subbing in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would work, but at 25, he’s closer to an asset than a net negative.
In the end, Charlotte should find a happy medium within these parameters. Walker is on an expiring deal. Securing Fultz, even at rock bottom, along with some combination of picks and/or another prospect would be more than acceptable compensation.
While Kemba Walker will certainly ask for a lot of money this summer, having the possibility to compete for a Championship with the Sixers on a yearly basis may be enough for him to take a slight pay cut or sign a short-term deal at the City of Brotherly Love.
Meanwhile, Charlotte would have enough assets to kick-start their never-ending rebuilding process while getting fair value for an All-Star that’s on the pinnacle of his career and likely heading out the door.
Philadelphia, on the other hand, would have a deadly Big Four with Ben Simmons running the point, Kemba Walker scoring off-ball, Jimmy Butler for defensive purposes and Joel Embiid just doing his thing, let alone the fact that they’d still have JJ Redick as a catch and shoot kind of guy.