The New York Knicks have a big couple of months ahead of them, as they continue rebuilding their team and exercising their youth agenda. After hiring head coach Tom Thibodeau and new general manager Leon Rose, the entire ideology of the team has changed. From the coaching expertise to their relationships with players around the league, the Knicks are in a better place than before, but they are still a struggling team that needs help at multiple positions.
Finding a strong point guard who can run the offense is a necessity, and while Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Peyton are serviceable in their own respects, they need an all-around player who can carry the team on his shoulders.
Whether it’s through the draft, free agency, or a trade, the Knicks desperately need to find the answer at point guard, which leads me to Russell Westbrook.
If you know anything about Westbrook, it’s that he loves to shoot. The Houston Rocket could be a trade piece as the organization looks to rebuild from the ground up. Westbrook is a former MVP and has earned All-Star accolades multiple times, which makes him a fantastic player and potential rock for the Knicks. Having Westbrook and James Harden was always going to be an unnatural fit for Houston, as both require the ball in their hands at all times.
This year, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points per game, the highest since his 2016-2017 season. He has earned All-Star appearances in the last six consecutive years, taking one break during the 2013 campaign. The Knicks would theoretically be gaining one of the best offensive players in the league, and an athletic freak who can change the dynamic of a game at any given moment.
However, any offense that has Westbrook in it must completely revolve around him. Every pass needs to be orchestrated to get him the ball, and everyone else has to play second fiddle. I don’t believe Westbrook and Julius Randle would mesh together, meaning the Knicks would have to part ways with Randle in this scenario.
In a potential trade, the Knicks could send Randle over to Houston and consume Westbrook and his massive contract. He is currently on a five-year, $206.8 million deal. His contract expires in 2023, but he’s on the hook for over $40 million in each season, which will take up a ton of cap space.
Personally, I would stay far away from Westbrook, as the Knicks need to keep building on their youth and not inject a ball hog into the middle of their offense. Signing complementary pieces who the Knicks can build around is where they should be headed, meaning Westbrook should be a pipe dream left for the optimists.