Knicks news: Paul Pierce wants Thunder to trade Russell Westbrook to New York
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Paul Pierce wants Thunder to trade Russell Westbrook to Knicks

Paul Pierce, Russell Westbrook

The New York Knicks don’t have the cap flexibility to trade for Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook until Dec. 15, but that hasn’t stopped fans and media pundits from pushing for the Knicks to acquire him.

ESPN analyst and former NBA star Paul Pierce is in that group, saying that New York needs Westbrook “more than anybody” else:

Pierce even went as far to say that he feels sorry for the Knicks after striking out in free agency this summer, as New York had dreams of signing both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving but instead had to end up settling for players like Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Elfrid Payton.

But I’m not sure Westbrook is the answer here.

The 30-year-old has four years and about $170 million remaining on his current deal, so he could potentially cripple the cap space of any team that acquires him.

It’s not like Westbrook is worth that money anymore, either, as he is coming off a historically inefficient season in which he shot just 42.8 percent from the floor, 29.0 percent from e-point range and 65.6 percent from the free-throw line.

The Thunder seem motivated to move Westbrook after trading Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers this past weekend, as it seems obvious Oklahoma City needs to rebuild.

The Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets have all been mentioned as potential fits for Westbrook, with the Heat currently looking like the most likely destination for the 2017 MVP.

Westbrook owns career averages of 23.0 points, 8.4 assists and 7.0 rebounds per game.