A little simple math shows the playoff hopes for the Charlotte Hornets are all but snuffed out. They trail the No. 8-seeded Miami Heat by 5 1/2 games in the Eastern Conference standings and have just seven games left to play. In short, it will take some serious swoons in the standings just for Charlotte to snag that No. 8 spot.
This is hardly the season the Hornets envisioned for themselves after trading for Dwight Howard and making other offseason tweaks to the roster. With its next loss, Charlotte will finish under .500 for the second straight season and third time in the last four seasons. All-Star guard Kemba Walker has carried the scoring burden for the Hornets all season and the thought of another playoff-less season is wearing on him.
Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer reports on how Walker -- who is 20 points from the team's all-time scoring mark held by Dell Curry -- wants another playoff run soon. If not, Walker sounds like he may be open to moving on:
The Hornets will soon hire a new general manager to replace the departed Rich Cho. If that next general manager’s intention is to oversee a long-term rebuild, it could affect Walker’s career plans.
“At this point, I want to win. I want to be in the playoffs,” Walker told the Observer on Monday morning. “I’m tired of not being in the playoffs. ... I hate watching them on TV.
“I’ve been there twice in seven years, and it’s just not fun” missing out.
“I’ve always felt like I’m a winning player. Like I deserved it to be in the playoffs – to be battling,” Walker said. “That’s what it will be all about in the future.”
Trading Walker would be painful, but it might also be necessary if the alternative is risking losing him for nothing after next season.
“Whenever we get a new GM, we’ll see what direction he wants to go,” Walker said, “and I’ll make the best decision for me.”
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