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NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Hornets Searching for Backup Point Guard

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Charlotte Hornets in the market for a backup point guard

Yahoo Sources: Charlotte’s pursuing trade avenues to replace Kemba Walker, with Sacramento’s Ramon Sessions and Heat’s Norris Cole on radar.

To be clearer: Charlotte is pursuing trades to get them through Kemba Walker’s injury. They’re not trading Walker.

Via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports on Twitter

This Hornets’ activity on the trade market for a point guard is due to Walker being out for the next six weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Sessions and Cole are cheap and probably easily acquirable options with extensive experience. Cole may be in just his fourth season, but he has three straight years of trips to the NBA Finals under his belt, so he’s not your average fourth year player. Jordan Farmer, a recent cut of the Los Angeles Clippers, could also be an option for the Hornets.

However, as we went over in yesterday’s NBA rumor roundup, the Hornets are currently engaged in trade talks with the Brooklyn Nets. The talks center around a Joe Johnson for Lance Stephenson swap, with the necessary filler contracts included. A name that wasn’t mentioned in the trade talks was Jarrett Jack, who could now become the deal sealer if the Nets were willing to include him. Jack has been playing inspired basketball as of late and has long been regarded as one of the best backup point guards in the league. No offense to Brian Roberts, but there’s no better man than Jack to run the show for the Hornets while Walker is out, then back him up and potentially play alongside him as well when he returns.

Kobe Bryant wanted to join Washington Wizards when Michael Jordan was there

Very few know that this seemingly laughable fantasy was nearly reality: More than a decade ago, Bryant wanted to get away from Los Angeles, and the team he wanted to join was the Wizards, where he would join forces with his mentor Michael Jordan.

Those plans evaporated when then-Wizards owner Abe Pollin parted ways with Jordan in 2003, a year before Bryant became a free agent, but as Wizards fans pine over the idea of Kevin Durant coming to Washington as a free agent, the near-miss that was Kobe-to-DC finally can be shared.

“That’s true,” Bryant confirmed recently. “A long time ago? Yeah.”

Via Michael Lee of the Washington Post

This was at a time when a really young and frustrated Bryant felt like he needed to leave the Lakers in order to achieve the goals he wanted to and prove to everyone that he didn’t need Shaquille O’Neal in order to compete for a championship. He has a long-standing friendship with Michael Jordan, who he grew up admiring and has emulated as a pro as closely as anyone up to this point has been able to. The potential to work with Jordan on a day-by-day basis was really intriguing to Bryant, but as we know now, he ended up staying in Los Angeles and winning two more championships.

Things got so bad before that championship run that Bryant tried to demand his way out, but the late great Lakers owner Jerry Buss refused to trade him, telling him there was just no way he could get equal value and he wasn’t going to give up one of the best players in the game. He asked him to believe in him and Bryant obliged.

Today, even with Bryant’s season over and his career likely only having a year left at the most, the idea of him playing for anyone other than the Lakers seems crazy. But, there was a time when he would have been open to playing for anyone else – including the Wizards.

Langston Galloway, Knicks talking long-term deal

Langston Galloway and the New York Knicks are in talks on a deal, league sources tell RealGM.

Galloway is on his second 10-day contract with the Knicks.

Multiple NBA teams are prepared to engage with Galloway should he become a free agent.

Via Shams Charania of Real GM on Twitter

Galloway was having a strong season in the NBA, but the Knicks didn’t even expect him to come on the way that he did when they called him up for his first 10-day contract. Now that they’re at the end of his second 10-day deal, they have to either let him walk or sign him to a deal for the rest of the season. However, by averaging 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes of action in eight games, Galloway has enough leverage to ask for a long-term deal beyond this season with some guaranteed cash. That’s why contract talks are a little bit more complex than your typical guy coming off a 10-day contract who would be willing to accept whatever is offered to him for the rest of the season.

The Knicks have plans of making wholesale changes this offseason with their cap space, so it’s going to be interesting to see if they’re impressed enough with what Galloway has done to commit to him as long as he is looking for. If it was just a matter of signing him for the rest of this year, the deal would probably be done, but Galloway has driven his stock way up and rightfully wants to capitalize. If the Knicks don’t sign him expect a team to be willing to make the long-term offer to him that he’s looking for. Galloway won’t command much more than the league minimum, but wants some security so that he doesn’t have to keep bouncing around like did before erupting with the Knicks.

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About Yannis Koutroupis

Yannis Koutroupis

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.