The Charlotte Hornets are feeling a sense of urgency to surround Kemba Walker with some type of talent before Father-time eventually catches up with him. They’re a respectable organization in a very underrated market, so there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future.
Paying out over $50 million to Nicolas Batum, however, is certainly not making things any easier for them. And according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, the team is desperately looking to get him off the books, and are telling teams that he must be included in any trade for one of their players.
Teams have expressed interest, including some contenders, but the Hornets would most prefer to put the money remaining on Kaminsky’s $3.6 million deal with another big salary. Charlotte, according to league sources, is desperate to get out of the two years and $52 million remaining on Nicolas Batum’s salary, and at least one team was told that Kaminsky could be had if Batum were included.
So far Batum has averaged 13.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists over his 3.5 seasons with the team, a pretty underwhelming performance considering his contract. It’s gotten even worse this season, with his stats dipping to just 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists.
As the February trade deadline approaches, things will be heating up on all fronts for Charlotte. They want to find the right deal, but they also don’t want to waste another minute of Kemba’s prime.
It’ll take a lot of planning and maneuvering. Finding a new home for Batum is the first step.