Charlotte Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan said Monday night he’s not looking to trade point guard Kemba Walker, and would do so only if the return included a major All-Star, such as the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard. In an exclusive telephone interview with the Charlotte Observer, following the Hornets’ 112-107 home victory over the Sacramento Kings, Jordan said he’s disappointed with his team’s 19-26 start, but has not given up on the chances of reaching the playoffs this season. The Hornets have the 12th-highest payroll in the NBA this season at more than $116 million, and Jordan had aspirations for the team to earn home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Jordan called the Observer primarily to address reports, initially by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski Friday, that the Hornets are actively involved in trade talks that could result in Walker’s departure. Jordan acknowledged there have been discussions with other teams, some initiated by the Hornets’ front office, but that he isn’t looking to lose Walker, clearly the team’s most talented and productive player and an All-Star last season. “We bred him, we chose him, we groomed him to be a good player for us,” Jordan said of Walker, who the Hornets drafted ninth overall in 2011, to a great extent because Jordan saw traits in Walker that reminded him of his own playing career.
Michael Jordan ‘would not trade’ Kemba Walker ‘for anything but an All-Star player’
Charlotte Observer | Jan 23