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Report: Knicks send Willy Hernangomez to Hornets for Johnny O’Bryant, 2 second-round picks

Willy Hernangomez

The New York Knicks are finalizing a deal to send center Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets for Johnny O’Bryant and two future second-round picks, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. The picks will be from years 2020 and 2021, per Charania.

Hernangomez had requested a trade on Monday, looking for more playing time and an increased role.

Hernangomez had been in the middle of a wild center logjam after the arrival of Enes Kanter, as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade. After being the starter for the back end of last season, the 23-year-old Spanish center found himself getting a mere 9.2 minutes per game under head coach Jeff Hornacek, who favored Kanter as his starter and Kyle O’Quinn as the main backup.

Hernangomez, who was surging as a rookie, became ultimately frustrated with being in the Hornacek dog house, alongside veteran Joakim Noah, who has since been away from the team.

Playing behind Dwight Howard in Charlotte could provide him a lot more minutes at the center position and a new opportunity to showcase his talent in a new city.

O’Bryant, in his fourth year in the league, has seen limited time as a 6-foot-9 power forward — playing for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Denver Nuggets, the Hornets, and now the Knicks. New York could choose to use him as part of depth for the recently-injured Kristaps Porzingis, but will likely waive him, since there is no further need for him with four other power forwards in the roster.

Only time will tell if this trade will allow for Noah to rejoin the team as the third center, or if both parties have already grown apart past a point of return.