While most of the Los Angeles Lakers free agency talk has been centered around major dominoes Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Jimmy Butler, Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker has quietly flown under the radar. Should the Hornets decide not to offer the ever-loyal Walker the supermax contract, there should be a number of suitors on the open market.
NBA GM’s might have a tough time rationalizing giving Walker the max give his age and lack of playoff experience, Walker has been the lone bright spot on a number of horrendous teams. While the Hornets refused to provide a quality supporting cast around him, a pairing with LeBron James could be the fresh start Walker needs.
Lakers Expected to Show Interest in Kemba Walker if Star Walks in Free Agency
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are among the top suitors for Walker should he Hornets not come to an agreement with their All-NBA guard. With the Lakers seemingly on the cusp of a deal for Anthony Davis and with Lonzo Ball likely a centerpiece to get the deal done, the Lakers will be actively looking for a playmaking guard to help lighten LeBron James’ load.
Walker isn’t the best defender, however, an offensive trio of James, Davis, and Walker could prove to be one of the NBA’s best on that side of the basketball. While not the pure shooter that Kyrie Irving is, Walker has a similar skill set in that he is extremely effective at taking defenders off the dribble and creating shots from all three levels.
If the Lakers end up going this route, they would be forced to fill the roster with veteran players chasing rings on minimum deals and players willing to accept the available cap exceptions once the Lakers inevitably go above the salary cap to build their roster.
Other Los Angeles Lakers Top Free Agency Targets
Aside from Walker as a potential target, the Lakers have also been linked to big names like Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and even the aforementioned Irving. However, free agency rumors have mostly come to a standstill following the recent developments on the Anthony Davis trade front.
That said, the Lakers have been most closely linked to Butler and to a lesser extent Irving. Many analysts (and JaVale McGee) feel that Irving wants to go to Brooklyn, the Lakers are still one of his top destinations and seem to still have a legitimate chance to land James’ former running mate.