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Rumor: Knicks were never interested in trading for Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

The New York Knicks were never truly interested in trading for Russell Westbrook, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports.

Despite having struck out in free agency after whiffing on the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, the Knicks remained committed to their rebuild by keeping their young assets and sustaining longtime flexibility for 2020 and 2021 with the slew of two-year deals they signed over the offseason.

While the prospect of a fast-breaking Westbrook running the break in the lights of Madison Square Garden seems appealing, the Knicks would be tying up a whopping $170 million over the next four seasons, which would only hinder them from making any other valuable additions to the team.

New York has a chance to scrap the current construction of this team within a year or two and try again, but they will have to do so by showing the team can win with solid play, as the allure of the big stage bombed badly this offseason.

The Houston Rockets eventually landed Westbrook in exchange for Chris Paul, who could be on the move again in the coming days of the summer.

Meanwhile, the Knicks prepare to take a 15-man roster with two two-way players to the regular season, already boasting a full roster midway into July. Head coach David Fizdale will prioritize the growth of his young players while remaining competitive and building a case for the franchise, as the Brooklyn Nets just did.