Kemba Walker says playoffs, new GM will influence decision to stay in Charlotte

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Kemba Walker has been to the playoffs twice in the six years he’s finished with the Charlotte Hornets. Now in his seventh season, Walker has begun to rise as a true star and multi-faceted franchise cornerstone in the Queen City.

Still, Walker isn’t satisfied. His contract is up after the end of the 2018-19 NBA season, and where the Hornets finish this year and next will have a significant impact on his re-signing with Charlotte.

Speaking to the Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell, Walker reiterated that he wanted to stay in North Carolina, but he also needs to win.

Via the Charlotte Observer:

“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.”

“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.”

The Hornets fired GM Rich Cho earlier in 2018, and will need a new chief of staff to begin the offseason. Who that person is and what direction they’re going to take will obviously mean a lot to Walker.

While Walker’s comments aren’t necessarily ominous — it would be fair to call them, well, fair — they will apply some public pressure not only on the Hornets but on fans as well.

Charlotte loves Walker, and they don’t want to see him go. The Hornets, after seeming to crest in 2015-16, have taken a step back. They currently sit 10th in the Eastern Conference with a losing record, and are likely destined to miss the playoffs again this year.