A major signing could take place in New York as the Knicks are said to be interested in trading for nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook.
SNY’s Ian Begley reported that there is a strong belief among NBA agents of top point guards in the market that the Knicks “would poke around” a potential swap for Westbrook should the Houston Rockets place him on the trading block.
Westbrook suiting up for the Knicks may not be too far-fetched. Prior to the trade between the Rockets and the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2019, Begley bared, citing unnamed sources, that the 31-year-old had hinted at personal interest in playing for New York, which was labeled as a “welcome landing spot” for the former MVP.
In a previous report from Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, an anonymous league executive said the Knicks “might be one of the only teams that could be a fit” for Westbrook.
Pointing out the lack of success from the All-Star combination of Westbrook and James Harden, the unnamed executive claimed that both top-tier guards and their styles of play simply aren’t suited for each other.
In their first season together in Houston, the Rockets clinched the fourth spot in the Western Conference with a 44-28 record in the regular season. Their decent run, however, was stalled by eventual champions Los Angeles Lakers, who finished them off in five games in the second round of the playoffs.
Westbrook’s individual numbers remained formidable after his first full year donning the Rockets threads. In 57 games played in the Regular Season, he averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists on 47.2% shooting from the field.
However, the postseason became a huge struggle for him – no thanks to a quad injury – as he posted just 17.9 points, 7.0 boards and 4.6 assists on a 42.1% shooting clip, including just 24.2% from deep.
Significant changes await the Rockets after the departure of former head coach Mike D’Antoni and longtime general manager Daryl Morey, who just announced his resignation from the post Thursday, ESPN reported.
According to analysts, these sudden modifications in the Rockets’ structure could be an indication that player movements are about to follow. With the Harden-Westbrook tandem seemingly failing to work, fans could expect more trade speculation as the offseason saga goes on.