Among the teams supposedly interested in trading for Russell Westbrook were the New York Knicks, who had the cap-space, assets, and motive to work a deal for the 8x All-Star.
The assumption is that they were simply outbid by the Clippers, who were willing to offer up a ridiculous package of picks and players in the trade.
In a report by Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports, the NBA insider challenged the idea that the Knicks were ever considering trading for the 2017 MVP.
From what I was told, the Knicks never had interest in trading for Russell Westbrook when he became available.
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.
It is no secret that the Knicks were pushing hard for Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, or Kyrie Irving to join the team. When it became evident that they would land elsewhere, the Knicks shifted their focus to continuing their rebuild — with 2019 3rd overall pick RJ Barrett at the helm.
After turning 30 last October, Westbrook is due to make over $170 million over the next four seasons. He shot a measly 42% from the field last season, and 29% from beyond the arc. Those numbers certainly do not mix well for a team hoping to develop their own young talent.