NBA Rumors: New York Knicks Want Willy Hernangomez To Join Team Next Year

The New York Knicks are desperate for an influx of talent and reportedly want draft and stash prospect Guillermo “Willy” Hernangomez to join the team for the 2016-17 season.

Javier Maestro of Encestando reported that the Knicks are preparing to offer Hernangomez a four-year, $4.5 million deal. New York is not permitted to officially offer the soon-to-be 22-year old a contract until July 7.

Maestro added that Hernangomez has rejected two offers from Real Madrid, his Spanish club, and it would be a surprise if he did not end up with the Knicks. He apparently has thought about joining the Knicks and his good friend, Kristaps Porzingis, the past couple of months.

Hernangomez has appeared in 43 games this season for Real Madrid this year, averaging 5.49 points and 3.35 rebounds while seeing about 11.6 minutes of action a game. He shot an incredible 67.6 percent from the field. Hernangomez recorded one double-double and has made four starts.

Hernangomez is a highly effective, physical player who knows how to use his body to create space. According to NBADraft.net, he has a strong work ethic and is fundamentally sound. Hernangomez is a decent rebounder overall but loves to hit the offensive glass hard, grabbing 4.1 offensive caroms per 36 minutes this season. The Spaniard is also an okay shot-blocker and defender as he lacks elite athleticism, which is his biggest weakness.

New York acquired the 6-foot-11 center in a draft day trade from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for two future draft choices and cash considerations.

If Hernangomez does indeed join the Knicks this year, he could see plenty of playing time backing up Porzingis and Robin Lopez at power forward and center, respectively. As reserve big men Lou Amundson and Kevin Seraphin are slated to become free agents on July 1, while Derrick Williams has a player option. Williams had a career-year and will likely decline his player option, searching for a long-term deal, meaning there is a chance he won’t return as well.

The Knicks have a lot of other things to figure out before the 2016-17 season commences. New York (32-50) missed the playoffs for the third consecutive season despite improving its win total by 15 games from the 2014-15 season.

The first thing that the Knicks need to decide, is who is their coach going forward? Right now interim coach Kurt Rambis, who went 9-19 after replacing Derek Fisher, is the leading candidate to become the permanent coach. However, the New York Post speculates that former Orlando Magic coach Scott Skiles as well as current NBA analyst Mike Fratello could become serious candidates. The Knicks have already talked with former Cleveland Cavaliers’ coach David Blatt and former Indiana Pacers’ head man Frank Vogel about the job.

New York does not have either a first or second round selection in this year’s draft. This is the second time in the past three seasons that the Knicks do not have a draft choice, though they are still tracking prospects at the NBA combine. Per Ian Begley of ESPN, New York intends to obtain a second round draft choice prior to the draft.

The Knicks major need is a point guard that can score. New York finished 27th in the league in scoring with 98.4 points a game and 26th in assists at 20.5 a contest.

Currently, New York has three point guards on its roster — Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant and Langston Galloway. Grant was a rookie last season and struggled with his shooting early in the season. Grant finished the season strongly, scoring double-figures in five of his final six games. He averaged 14.5 points,3.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds in April while shooting 49.3 percent from the field.

Calderon, who has one-year left on his contract, is 34-years-old and his production has been waning the past two seasons. Galloway, who may become a restricted free agent this offseason, is at best a third-stringer.

New York could also use a wing player that can score in bunches off the bench. Depending on whether Williams and Arron Afflalo decline their players options, they will need to add quality depth at all positions. New York could have as many as six unrestricted free agents and two restricted free agents, leaving them between $18-to-$30 million in cap space.

Lance Thomas and Sasha Vujacic are the other Knicks scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Cleanthony Early will become a restricted free agent, if New York tenders him a contract.

[Photo by Francisco Seco/Associated Press]