NBA Rumors: New York Knicks Targeting Russell Westbrook

NBA rumors are saying that the New York Knicks might wait until 2017 to upgrade their guard position when Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook becomes a free agent. Reports have surfaced that Westbrook is intrigued at the possibility of playing with rising rookie forward Kristaps Porzingis in the biggest market in the United States, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

When Kristaps Porzingis entered the NBA, many thought that he would be another in the long line of European busts. Instead, the 7’3″, 240-pound Latvian has developed into a fan favorite because he has shown potential to become one of the greatest players in the league. Someone with his size that can block shots and shoot beyond the three point line makes for a very intriguing teammate, so it makes sense that Russell Westbrook would be eager to play with Porzingis.

Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis [Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]
For years, the thought of playing with Carmelo Anthony was something that many NBA stars dreaded. The former Syracuse Orange star has a reputation as being a ball-dominant player that takes too many shots. Fortunately for the New York Knicks, Anthony has seen the light and become an unselfish player. Carmelo has been deferring to teammates more frequently this season, and it has improved things for everyone involved.

The combination of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Kristaps Porzingis can compete for an NBA Championship, especially if Porzingis makes a big leap in consistency in his second year. Westbrook can have plenty of room to break down his opponent, because both Anthony and Porzingis can spread the floor with their outside shooting. Plus, Westbrook would have quite the backup if he gets burned by his opponent on defense, because Porizingis loves to swat shots.

Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony [Photo by Elsa/Getty Images]
Despite being new to the job, Phil Jackson has done a pretty decent job of building a supporting cast for the New York Knicks. Langston Galloway provides a spark in the back court. Aaron Afflalo has proven that he can score in the NBA. Derrick Williams is now a solid role player off the bench. Robin Lopez provides a lot of defense and a little bit of offense. Signing with the Knicks would not mean that Russell Westbrook is going to be competing alone.

Then, there’s the possibility of Kevin Durant joining the New York Knicks, as well. Reports have surfaced that Russell Westbrook and Durant have discussed the possibility of playing together with the Los Angeles Lakers, a much bigger market than the one that the Oklahoma City Thunder play in. New York City is a pretty big market, and it is not impossible for Phil Jackson to clear enough space to have Westbrook and Durant on the same roster.

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant [Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]
Phil Jackson has pretty good job security with the New York Knicks. He seems committed to winning, as evident by the fact that he was willing to fire Derek Fisher, the man that he hand selected to become the head coach for the Knicks. Since he does not have to worry about being fired, Jackson might be patient enough to wait until Russell Westbrook is available before he decides to upgrade his backcourt.

NBA trade rumors this season have mentioned Atlanta Hawks’ Jeff Teague, Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley, and Detroit Pistons’ Brandon Jennings as potential backcourt targets for the New York Knicks. While those are all very good NBA players, they simply are not as good as Russell Westbrook, who routinely puts up triple doubles as if they were layups. If the Knicks feel that they have the chance to pick up a legitimate superstar, then the patient route would be the right way to go.

[Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images]