Despite failing to acquire their top targets on the trade and free agency market last summer, the New York Knicks still haven’t given up the idea of adding a legitimate superstar to the roster. When the 2019-20 NBA season is officially over, they are highly expected to be aggressive in acquiring an All-Star caliber talent that could help them return to title contention. The 2020 free agency may not be as loaded as the previous offseason, but there are plenty of big names expected to be available via trade this fall.
One of the dream trade targets for the Knicks in the 2020 offseason is All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook of the Houston Rockets. According to Jonathan Kiernan of Fansided’s Sir Charles In Charge, the Knicks could offer a package that includes Julius Randle, Frank Ntilikina, Wayne Ellington, and a 2022 unprotected first-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for Westbrook. If the proposed deal becomes a reality, Kiernan believes it would help both teams improve their rosters.
“Julius Randle is the perfect small-ball center for the Houston Rockets who can average 20 a game. Wayne Ellington and his 3-point shooting offer Harden and D’Antoni another shooter on the perimeter and Kevin Knox is a young wing who can be molded into a good player with a good coach to learn from. Russell Westbrook is built for a big market and there aren’t many bigger markets than New York. Russell Westbrook in MSG would be the box office. His larger than life personality, his unique sense of style, and his fiery attitude on the court represent everything New York loves.”
Trading all those players for Westbrook would undeniably be a no-brainer for the Knicks, especially if they want to become a more competitive team in the Eastern Conference next year. Westbrook would tremendously boost the Knicks’ offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 29 in the league, scoring 103.9 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. Aside from being a very reliable scoring option, he would also give the Knicks an incredible rebounder and playmaker.
This season, he’s averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, seven assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 25.8 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. The arrival of Westbrook by himself may not be enough to turn the Knicks into a legitimate title contender, but it would give them a realistic chance of ending their seven-year playoff drought next season.
As of now, there’s no clear indication that the Rockets are planning to make Westbrook available on the trading block in the 2020 offseason. However, if they fail to eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2020 Playoffs, rumors surrounding Westbrook are expected to heat up once again.