As the offseason continues, it looks more and more likely that Russell Westbrook might not be with the Lakers to start next season. Despite suggestions that they would be open to bringing Russ back, recent reports have shown that the relationship between the Lakers and the superstar has deteriorated quite a bit.
If Russ was to leave, for the longest time, it seemed like it would be in a deal with the Brooklyn Nets that would bring Kyrie Irving to the Lakers. But talks on that front appear to have cooled, and the expectation now seems to be that Irving will spend another season with the Nets in Brooklyn.
So if it does unfold that a deal for Irving isn't possible, then other teams could enter the conversation to acquire Westbrook. NBA insider Marc Stein has now said that according to sources, the New York Knicks could be a team to keep an eye on, pending one condition.
“One league source advised me in Las Vegas to keep an eye on the Knicks and Lakers discussing a potential Westbrook deal if — IF — Leon Rose can successfully bring Donovan Mitchell to Madison Square Garden.”
The links to Donovan Mitchell have been strong for the Knicks, with the organization reportedly turning down a huge offer from the Utah Jazz that would have seen the Knicks part with a lot of their young players as well as up to 6 first-round picks. That seems to be off the table now, but the Knicks rumored interest in Mitchell likely remains.
If there is any truth to this, then it would be a curious situation for sure. If the Knicks acquired Mitchell, having already landed Jalen Brunson, then getting Westbrook in would mean they would have three guards in contention to start. Whether there is any truth to these rumors or not, it seems that the market for Russ could open up as the offseason carries on.