Quantcast
Connect with us

Knicks acquired draft rights to Europe’s best player in Austin Rivers sign-and-trade

Leon Rose, Austin Rivers, Sergio Llull, Knicks trade

The New York Knicks actually landed a pair of backcourt players as part of their agreement with free agent guard Austin Rivers.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported the Houston Rockets are sending the draft rights to European point guard Sergio Llull to the Knicks in order to complete the sign-and-trade for Rivers. Houston creates a trade exception as part of the deal.

Houston acquired the rights to Llull—who plays for Real Madrid—all the way back in 2009 after he was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the second round.

Nearly 12 years later, Llull has yet to make the leap to the NBA. It seems unlikely he ever will.

The 33-year-old is one of the most accomplished players in Europe. Llull won the 2016-17 EuroLeague MVP and has played for the Spanish national team in multiple Olympic Games. But he probably will not ever see Madison Square Garden.

Realistically, the addition of Llull was merely semantics so as to complete the move for Rivers, who ended up being New York’s only real backcourt addition.

The Knicks headed into the offseason seemingly desiring a new point guard. They were rumored to be interested in both Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. New York also had interest in signing Fred VanVleet.

But the Knicks have already missed on two of those three, and the Rockets appear content to keep Westbrook.

Rivers gives New York a steady backcourt guy who can shoot it a bit and has shown vast improvement on the defensive end of the floor.

However, he is hardly the “splashy” acquisition some fans might have hoped for, and even the accomplished Llull is almost certainly staying put.