HoopsHype Kemba Walker rumors

October 17, 2014 Updates
October 16, 2014 Updates
October 15, 2014 Updates

The Hornets played Wednesday without point guard Kemba Walker (knee contusion suffered Monday against the Orlando Magic). Coach Steve Clifford sounded like there’s a good chance Walker might also miss Friday’s exhibition in Washington. Charlotte Observer

October 14, 2014 Updates

Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker suffered a contusion on his left knee during Monday night's NBA preseason game against the Orlando Magic. Walker, playing in the final year of his rookie contract with the Hornets, was injured early in the third quarter after a collision with Magic guard Elfrid Payton on a drive to the basket. "I just bumped knees with Payton," Walker said after Monday's game. "I'm all right, though. A little sore, but I'll be all right." ESPN.com

October 13, 2014 Updates
October 10, 2014 Updates

"I'm not worried at all about Lance," Walker said. "There's nothing wrong with him. He doesn't say much; he's quiet. He just likes to have fun. When I saw [him blowing into James' ear], I'm like, 'That's nothing new.' Lance has been doing that for years. It's just that he's on a big stage, so everybody is going to always have something to say about it. "Lance just gets excited, and he loves to play the game of basketball. Basically he's trying to do whatever he can do to win a basketball game, and there's nothing wrong with that. I could care less if he blows into somebody's ear. He played very well in the playoffs last season, so he'll be fine, especially with the off-the-court stuff. I don't think he'll get in much trouble at all." Bleacher Report

October 6, 2014 Updates
October 5, 2014 Updates

There are some intriguing players who will sign extensions or become free agents next summer, such as Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson, Charlotte’s Kemba Walker, San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard, Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris, Faried, Oklahoma City’s Reggie Jackson, Miami’s Norris Cole, and Chicago’s Jimmy Butler. The Celtics don’t have to worry about such four-year contract issues. That was the year they acquired JaJuan Johnson on draft night for MarShon Brooks. Johnson never stuck in the NBA and is now playing for Besiktas in the Turkish League. Brooks, meanwhile, has signed with Emporio Armani Milano of the Italian League. Boston Globe

September 28, 2014 Updates

Stephenson wants to do more than just play basketball. He wants to rap, as well. Two months before the season began, Stephenson released a rap song, called “Hot N---a,” a take on the rapper Bobby Shmurda’s song that spawned the popular “Shmoney Dance.” Stephenson took the beat to the song and says in four hours he came up with his lyrics. He stripped Shmurda’s lyrics of misogyny and gun violence and replaced them with rhymes about his basketball talents, endorsements for his And 1 shoe company, reminiscing about watching Allen Iverson, his excitement to play with Hornets point guard Kemba Walker and more. “Brooklyn-bred now I’m out in N.C.,” the end of the song’s first verse goes. “Me and Kemba in the backcourt n---as as dead meat/Pops held me, down kept me out the streets/They wonder how the rose grew up out the concrete… “I’ve been ballin’ hard since like the fifth grade/Watching A.I. gettin’ 40 with the French braids/Love Indiana, I’m gonna miss some good days/Charlotte Hornet, M.J. that’s a new way.” Charlotte Observer

September 26, 2014 Updates

In the final days before training camp, Charlotte Hornets general manager Rich Cho will sign another big man and tentatively explore a contract extension for point guard Kemba Walker. Cho said Thursday he will sign nine-season NBA veteran Jason Maxiell to a nonguaranteed contract Friday. That addresses the Hornets’ concern about having just four healthy big men entering camp without locking up the 15th and final roster spot. Charlotte Observer

Cho also said he has had preliminary discussions with Walker’s agent about a possible extension. If the Hornets don’t re-sign Walker by the end of October, he will become a restricted free agent in July. The Hornets haven’t typically re-signed players on rookie-scale contracts before they at least reach restricted free agency. “We’ve had some initial talks,” Cho said. “I don’t want to get into the discussions because I don’t think that would be fair to Kemba or his agent. It’s just started.” Charlotte Observer

September 25, 2014 Updates
September 24, 2014 Updates

Walker is taller than Thomas, but he’s not his listed 6-foot-1. “That might be a stretch,” head coach Steve Clifford says, laughing. Walker describes himself as “barely 6 feet,” though he suggests he can be “6-1 on a good day.” Other small point guards have thrived, including Lawson, Kyle Lowry, and Conley. But Lawson is a more explosive driver and finisher than Walker, Lowry is bulkier, and Conley is taller with longer arms that have helped him become an elite defender. Grantland

Only seven players launched more pull-ups than Walker last season, and he hit just 36.7 percent of them — a poor number, per NBA.com. He also has to launch moon balls to get them over defenders, another downside to being short. Walker had the fifth-highest average peak shot height on 3-pointers last season, per SportVU data provided to Grantland, trailing only Dirk Nowitzki, Dion Waiters, Jamal Crawford, and Lin. The effect carries over to his midrange looks. Grantland

May 15, 2014 Updates

So just how close are former Connecticut point guards Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier? “Super close,” Napier replied Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine. “Like I might not have to buy a house (if the Charlotte Bobcats drafted him). Just move in with him.” Napier was a freshman on the 2010-11 Connecticut team Walker led to the national championship. Napier duplicated Walker’s feat in March, leading the Huskies to another NCAA title. The two have stayed tight: When the Bobcats had a day off in April before a road game in Boston, Walker traveled to Connecticut’s campus to hang out with Napier. Charlotte Observer

Now the Bobcats need a backup point guard and are drafting 24th overall in June – a spot where Napier could still be available. “That would be cool,” Napier said of the prospect of a reunion with Walker. “Fun and ironic.” The question in that scenario would be whether the Bobcats want two point guards so similar in stature and skill set. They are both listed at 6-foot-1. Walker weighs 184 pounds, Napier 182. Charlotte Observer

April 28, 2014 Updates
April 27, 2014 Updates
April 19, 2014 Updates

Regardless of how this series turns out for the Bobcats, what’s the upside for this team considering the salary cap room, the number of draft picks and securing a head coach in Steve Clifford? A: I would say the future is bright and I think it started with the Al Jefferson deal, a deal a lot of people questioned. He’s given them an anchor on their front line offensively, especially on a team that doesn’t shoot it well. I like Kemba Walker. I think he’s definitely a guy that he will be a guy you can rely on to be the starting point guard for many years to come. Charlotte Observer

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