Rumor: The only way Knicks would have traded for Russell Westbrook
Despite weeks of speculation surrounding Russell Westbrook and his apparent trade request, it seemed increasingly likely the Houston Rockets would keep the former league MVP and start the season with both him and James Harden.
Westbrook is on a massive deal, and a one-for-one swap involving The Brodie and John Wall seemed to fall through the cracks after it was recently discussed a few weeks ago.
In fact, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on Thursday’s edition of The Lowe Post podcast there was absolutely no market for a Russell Westbrook deal.
Although teams like the New York Knicks had reportedly expressed interest in the past, Lowe said the Knicks would not make a deal for Westbrook unless they received additional assets:
“There. Was. No. Market. For. Russell. Westbrook,” Lowe said about Russell Westbrook’s trade market, via RealGM. “I kept saying this over and over again. The Clippers were not interested. The Knicks were not interested unless they were incentivized. I don’t know where the Hornets noise came from. Maybe it was credible. All I can say is from the people I know there, I never heard they were interested. There was, to my knowledge, nothing.”
The Knicks were said to be willing in terms of taking on bad contracts given the salary cap space they had this season. Of course, if they were going to take on that massive Westbrook contract worth over $130 million over the next three seasons, they wanted there to be an incentive to do so. That opportunity clearly never presented itself, and New York ultimately stayed pretty quiet this offseason. The Knicks will
Of course, Russ did eventually move, with the Rockets and Wizards eventually agreeing to the aforementioned John Wall-Russell Westbrook deal. But that deal was only possible because of the massive contract swap, and Houston actually got a first-round pick with Wall.