Charlotte Hornets All-Star point guard Kemba Walker has been the subject of trade rumors over the past year, but it doesn't sound like the front office has any intention of dealing him.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Hornets have informed teams they're "committed to contending for a playoff berth with Walker as the face of the franchise," and owner Michael Jordan "has a strong desire to re-sign" the 28-year-old.
The Hornets sit at 6-5 and should be in playoff contention all season long, given the lack of quality teams in the Eastern Conference. Walker is off to an MVP-caliber start this season, averaging 28.1 points, 4.2 assists and 5.9 rebounds.
Walker is in the final season of a four-year, $48 million contract that was signed in Oct. 2014. He's expressed his desire to stay loyal and remain with the Charlotte long-term, so all signs point to the Hornets giving their franchise star a contract extension in the very near future.
The Hornets have made the playoffs twice under Walker - in 2014 and 2016. Both resulted in first round losses to the Miami Heat, however. Charlotte has gone 36-46 over the past two seasons, but things have been much better in 2018-19 so far.
Charlotte is also getting plenty of production from Malik Monk (13.4 points per game), Jeremy Lamb (12 points per game), and Nicolas Batum and Tony Parker. With a handful of Eastern teams like the New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks in rebuilding mode, a playoff spot is right there for the taking in Charlotte.
For the Hornets, they've had struggles attracting top stars to join their small market. But Walker seems keen on staying with them for the long run, so it only sounds like a matter of time until a contract extension is reached.
The goal now is for Charlotte to start planning out a way to find new stars that can complement Walker.