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#pounditTuesday, May 11, 2021

Kemba Walker likely to leave Hornets this summer?

After spending the first eight seasons of his career with the Charlotte Hornets, Kemba Walker may be nearing the end of the line.

During an open Q&A this week, Sam Amick of The Athletic indicated that the three-time All-Star guard could be likely to leave Charlotte this summer.

“At this point, based on scuttlebutt around the league but without direct clarity from his side, it feels like he’s more likely to leave than stay,” he wrote.

The 28-year-old Walker, who is averaging a career-high 25.0 points to go with 5.8 assists per game this season, was drafted by Charlotte in 2011 back when they were still the Bobcats and has been with them ever since.

The Hornets can offer Walker the most money and the most years when he becomes a free agent this offseason, which is big considering that he is coming off a deal that paid him just $48 million over the last four years. But the team has made the playoffs just twice in Walker’s eight years, both first-round exits. This season, they are tenth in the East at 29-35 and just got dealt a blow with Wednesday’s loss to Miami, a team they are competing for a playoff spot with.

Walker is a native of New York, and the Knicks will have a lot of cap space this summer and a need in the backcourt. Plenty of contenders would probably love to have him too. But Walker has been vocal recently about his desire to stay with the Hornets, so it’s tough to really tell which way he is leaning.

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