• Michael Ryan

OTG's NBA Trade Deadline Marathon: Day 2.5

*The Knicks will send their 2018 unprotected first rounder and 2020 unprotected first rounder to Charlotte. The Knicks will also send their 2018 second rounder to Detroit.*

Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a Woj Bomb this morning. He reported that the Charlotte Hornets will make Kemba Walker available in trade talks.

The Hornets have been one of the more underachieving teams this year and could be set to totally blow up the roster. The Hornets are set to pay Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Nicolas Batum $48 million combined annually for the next three seasons. That’s awful and cap killing.

With Kemba Walker set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of the 2019 year, it’d be smart for the Hornets to capitalize on his value now and tank the remainder of the season.

So which teams would be interested in Walker? I can imagine every team in need of a point guard will call the Hornets for updates on Walker’s availability.

Which brings the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons in play. This could be a three team deal that helps all three sides out. In this scenario, the Knicks will send their 2018 unprotected first rounder and 2020 unprotected first rounder to Charlotte. The Knicks will also send their 2018 second rounder to Detroit.

Why the Hornets do the deal: The Hornets currently are sitting in the 11th spot in the draft and the Knicks are currently sitting in the 12th spot. Figured if this deal goes through, the Hornets likely end up in a 6-8 spot , potentially even top 5 if the lottery breaks right, and the Knicks pick will likely end up between 12-16. The 6-8 spot opens the Hornets up to take Trae Young, Collin Sexton, Mo Bamba or Jaren Jackson Jr. In the 12-16 range, they could target Kevin Knox, Mikal Bridges, Troy Brown, or Trevon Duval.

The Hornet's then get back young pieces to help rebuild the team. Stanley Johnson and Willy Hernangomez would provide two young players with a fairly good upside. There’s clear potential that has not been tapped yet in both players. Henry Ellenson is a young big who can stretch the floor in the Frank Kaminsky role.

That’s a good return and allows the Hornets to focus on trading other pieces to acquire more picks.

Why the Pistons do the deal: The Pistons are in win-now mode. Guys like Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, and Tobias Harris are locked up for the next three seasons. The Pistons will have the opportunity to cash in and land Courtney Lee and Frank Kaminsky without giving up a ton.

Imagine this Pistons rotation:

Starters - Jackson, Bradley, Lee, Harris, Drummond

Bench - Smith, Kennard, Bullock, Tolliver, Kaminsky

That looks like a team that can make a playoff push and get over the hump in a clouded playoff race.

Why the Knicks do the deal: The Hornets will ask for Frank Ntilikina in the deal, but I could see the Knicks front office being hesitant to do so. That’s why the Knicks will toss two first rounders in the deal, and I wouldn’t even rule out a third first rouder being traded as well.

The Knicks will get their franchise point guard, they desperately have coveted and Walker would make every current Knicks player better. If the Knicks are able to give up just picks instead of dealing Ntilikina, it’ll be a no brainer.

The Knicks can close out games with Walker - Ntilikina - Hardaway - Beasley - Porzingis. That looks pretty good to me.


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