UConn in the NBA: Walker placed on the trading block

Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (15) drives past Sacramento Kings' Willie Cauley-Stein (00) and Skal Labissiere (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Another week gone by means another week of exciting, and, for some, agonizing NBA basketball. We’ll check out how the week went for those that still bleed blue in the NBA, and as we get closer and closer to the trade deadline, I will discuss some of the rumors that could be floating around about these players.

Andre Drummond

Another week without Reggie Jackson equals another week of losses for Drummond and the Pistons, capped off by a Spencer Dinwiddie’s heartbreaking, double-clutch, game-winning layup on Sunday. The poor Pistons, who have lost five straight and eight out of 10 games, now sit at ninth in the Eastern Conference and outside the playoff picture. Drummond’s stats are stellar, and he is now the only player in the league averaging 15 rebounds per game, but this recent stretch by Detroit could hurt his All-Star campaign.

Kemba Walker

Oh, how the tables have turned. The Charlotte Hornets entered this season looking to be a playoff team and now seem to be looking for a better pick in the draft by attempting to trade their franchise player Kemba Walker. Last week, I showed how Walker’s production has tailed off slightly from last season, but Walker is still an above-average point guard in his prime and could help any team that is having trouble at that spot. No specific rumors have leaked yet as to where Walker could go, but the Hornets want to couple him with a bad contract so they can open cap space. By this time next week, Walker could be on another team, so check back.

Jeremy Lamb

Not much has changed for Lamb over the course of the week but he and the Hornets are trending upward right now. Despite trade rumors for Walker, the Hornets have won four of their last five games and Lamb’s shooting percentages have risen slightly to 44.9 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. A Walker trade could prove interesting for Lamb, as it might raise his minutes and his spot in the pecking order, giving him more shots and more of a chance to show his skills for a team that should not care who ends up chucking. We’ll just have to wait and see how the situation gets resolved, but until then Lamb should remain his steady self.

Rudy Gay

Another player whose situation hasn’t changed. The Spurs forward has now missed 12 straight games after only missing one over the rest of the season, and it couldn’t come at a worse time with Kawhi Leonard seemingly out for a long time as well. Gay’s injury adds to a long list of injuries for the Spurs this season, and it would be interesting to see how well the team could play at this point if everyone was healthy. Even with all the injuries they’ve had, the Spurs are still tied for third in the Western Conference and are in no danger of missing out on the playoffs.

Shabazz Napier

Napier is comfortably back in his reserve role, and he is someone to watch as the trade deadline begins to roll around. Napier played well in the absence of Damian Lillard, and since Lillard has been back, Napier has still been a more than serviceable backup point guard. The Trail Blazers went 3-0 this week and now sit at sixth place in the West.


Zac Lane is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at zachary.d.lane@uconn.edu.