Walker, a two-time All-Star, averaged 22.1 points and 5.6 assists per game last season.
The Hornets finished 2017-18 with a 36-46 record and missed the playoffs. They fired coach Steve Clifford in mid-April after five seasons and replaced him with former Spurs assistant James Borrego.
The Rockets expect Chris Paul to be on their roster next season.
Forte was an All-America as a North Carolina sophomore, but pretty much nothing went right for him as a pro. He was small for a shooting guard and unable to convert successfully to the point. Boston gave up on him after a tumultuous rookie year, during which he reportedly wore a Magic Johnson Lakers jersey during one of his nights on the Celtics’ bench. Seattle gave him a shot, but he played in only 25 games combined in his two NBA seasons. He has enjoyed a long-term successful career playing overseas, including time in Italy, Russia, Israel and Iran.
The only curveball in all this would be if Popovich somehow gets through to Leonard and changes his mind about his insistence on leaving the Spurs. The team has operated under the assumption that Leonard’s bizarre 2017-18 season, during which he played just nine games as he healed from what many considered a relatively mild quad injury, was fueled more by his advisors than by Leonard himself. Early indications, though, are that nothing has changed with Leonard’s trade request.
If, however, Leonard pulls that 180-degree turn in the next day, and recommits to his team, this saga will have been brought to a happy close for the Spurs. That’s a longshot. It’s far more likely that the Leonard story lingers over the draft, and beyond.
The 2018 NBA Draft will be one of the deepest and most talented drafts in recent memory. With college basketball stars like DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and Michael Porter Jr., and even an international phenom like Luka Doncic, there’s plenty of talent at the top for NBA teams looking to boost their roster and turn around their franchise.