The Los Angeles Lakers’ Russell Westbrook was linked to a trade proposal with the New York Knicks.
This offseason, the New York Knicks will be busy. Aside from the NBA Draft, free agency, and Summer League, the front office must decide whether or not to compete for a playoff spot.
The Knicks were eliminated from the playoffs entirely this year, after making the playoffs as the fourth seed just a year ago. Things quickly deteriorated, and this summer, New York will pivot and retool.
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN, for example, has proposed a solution. Smith would undoubtedly assist them in making the necessary adjustments. Indeed, he proposed an action that would alter the franchise’s entire trajectory. He pleaded with the Knicks to trade for Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers, advising them to “give up everything.”
“With the Knicks, I’d trade everything for him.” Okay, everyone. Because there’s that brother. Although LA may not be the best fit for him, somewhere else where he can channel his energy, fervor, tenacity, and athleticism would be ideal. Smith declared, “Today, I’d take Russell Westbrook in a Knicks uniform.”
However, this isn’t the first time someone at ESPN has suggested a Westbrook-to-the-Knicks trade.
Wild Knicks Trade Proposed by ESPN
ESPN proposed a deal involving the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls in the middle of May. The Thunder sent Westbrook to the Knicks, but many fans thought the deal was too good to be true. The following is a complete breakdown of the trade:
Russell Westbrook, 2027 1st-Round Pick, and 2028 1st-Round Pick go to the Knicks.
Lakers receive: Zach LaVine
Bulls receive: Julius Randle, Evan Fournier
The Lakers would be getting a steal in this deal, as Westbrook and two first-round picks would be exchanged for a 27-year-old All-Star. Fans of the Knicks and Bulls, on the other hand, were dissatisfied with their respective contracts.
Fans will “revolt” if this deal goes through, according to one Knicks fan:
NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer, on the other hand, refused to acknowledge the trade.
I’m not going to participate in the Very Bad Zach LaVine Hypothetical Trade, and I invite you all to do the same.
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) May 11, 2022
While the Bulls may not be interested in getting involved, trading for Westbrook may be a better option than most Knicks fans think.
Why Westbrook to the Knicks Works
If the Lakers are interested, the Knicks should propose a trade for Westbrook that includes Randle and Fournier. New York would prefer to receive a first-round pick in the deal, but even if that isn’t possible, the deal is still worthwhile.
Next season, Westbrook will earn just over $47 million, making him the league’s highest-paid player. He’ll be off the books after that. Randle’s contract runs until 2025-26, while Fournier’s runs until 2023-24.
Trading for Westbrook would allow the Knicks to clear a significant amount of money from their books after next season, allowing them to focus on rebuilding around RJ Barrett and attracting top free agents.
One year of Westbrook is a small price to pay to get Randle and Fournier off the books all at once.