The Houston Rockets appear to be on the brink of blowing up their team. They've already parted ways with long-time head coach Mike D'Antoni, and according to the rumor mill, the Rockets front office are already looking at the possibility of trading away Russell Westbrook. According to an anonymous NBA executive, the New York Knicks might turn out to be a prime destination for Westbrook.
This report comes via Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report:
“The [New York] Knicks might be one of the only teams that could be a fit for Westbrook,” the executive continued. “Not sure if there are any others.”
Westbrook still has three years remaining on his current deal, including a player option for the 2022-23 campaign. Over the span of the next three seasons, the former MVP winner will earn $131.5 million. He will turn 32 in November, and at this point, Westbrook is not exactly the most attractive trade prospect for most teams.
Then again, the Knicks are desperate for a star, and Westbrook just got voted into the All-NBA third team, so he undeniably still carries that star power with him. Pincus' report also detailed how a potential Knicks-Rockets deal might look like:
New York has significant flexibility this offseason, be it with cap room or veterans to trade like Taj Gibson, Bobby Portis, Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington, Elfrid Payton and Reggie Bullock, along with young prospects like Dennis Smith Jr., Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox. The Knicks could give Houston depth, while the Rockets could give New York a headliner in Westbrook.
To some extent, Westbrook has been used as a scapegoat for Houston's shortcomings this term. He actually had a remarkable debut season for the Rockets, but unfortunately for him, it might now be enough.