NY Knicks: The Pros and Cons of a Russell Westbrook Trade

NY Knicks, Russell Westbrook (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
NY Knicks, Russell Westbrook (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
NY Knicks, Russell Westbrook
NY Knicks, Russell Westbrook (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Pros of a NY Knicks Russell Westbrook trade

It’s been written ad nauseam why the Lakers would want to move off Westbrook. So why would the Knicks want to move on to him?

For starters, New York has lacked an identity all season.

Last year’s magic, steeped in defense and effort has been nowhere to be found.

And while there’s still plenty of season left, if the Knicks are going to turn it around, it’s gotta happen sooner rather than later.

Russ, as erratic as he may be, would bring an identity to New York.

He’s a terrific locker room presence and has years under his belt of being a go-to option on a playoff team. As the Knicks are currently constituted, they don’t have an alpha like him.

On the court, Russ would immediately fill the hole at point guard. Kemba Walker has shown signs of life since returning to the rotation, but his durability will always be an issue.

Westbrook is still a threat at the rim as much as any guard in the league.

From the Knicks point guards this season (especially with Derrick Rose out), we’ve lacked the ability to get downhill.

A de facto center during his stint with the Rockets, Westbrook would be great for the Knicks as Mitchell Robinson and Nerlens Noel are inconsistent offensive rebounders.

There’s no world in which the Knicks should give up Julius Randle or any of their young prospects, and matching salaries wouldn’t cost New York as much as you think. (The Knicks would cut DeAndre Jordan or any other minimum contract to get the deal done).

Evan Fournier, Kemba Walker, and Nerlens Noel have all had subpar years.

Kevin Knox is out of the rotation, and I would be surprised if he was still with New York at the end of the season.

Plus, the trade would open a slot in the starting five for Quentin Grimes, resulting in a rotation of something like:

Westbrook – Grimes – Barrett – Randle – Robinson

Rose / McBride – Quickley – Burks – Toppin – Gibson

Knicks fans hate to admit it, but Westbrook would instantly be the best player on the team.