Knicks Would Consider trading for Russell Westbrook if He’s Available

Russell Westbrook at a tour in Tokyo in 2018. Photo by Masatoshi Okauchi/Shutterstock (9790526d)

After missing out on superstar players in recent years, the New York Knicks are ready to attempt to land one again this offseason. According to SNY’s Ian Begley, one of their potential targets is Houston Rockets’ All-Star guard Russell Westbrook.

With head coach Mike D’Antoni gone, the Rockets look like they are set to make some other big changes this offseason. The chatter around the league is that this could include a roster overhaul, in which case Westbrook would be made available.

If this turns out to be the case, the Knicks will explore making a move for the 2017’s NBA MVP as they look to get back to contention. Begley adds that Westbrook himself would likely not be opposed to the move, considering that he had New York on his list of preferred destinations when Oklahoma City Thunders decided to trade him last year.

Despite the rumors, the chances of Houston moving Russell Westbrook remain slim. Although the 31-year-old guard had a slow start in 2019/20, he finished the shortened regular season on a high note and took over as the team’s most dominant force on the offense. Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists.

The only possible reason for the Rockets to move Westbrook would be his huge contract. The team is currently maxed-out cap-wise, and getting off his remaining three-year, $132 million deal would allow them bigger flexibility in retooling their squad in order to continue building around James Harden.