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WESTBROOK TO MSG The Knicks add Russ as a potential trade target


KD wasn't the savior for the Knicks. Recent reports say that Chris Paulmight be. At this point, trade is the only way they'll acquire one, and in doing so, taking on a big contract is inevitable. CP3 fits such a description, but so does one other guy - Russell Westbrook.

With Daryl Morey stepping down from his GM position with the Rockets and Mike D'Antoni no longer being their head coach, it's safe to say Houston will embark on a complete overhaul, both organizational and roster-wise. And while they failed to make a deep playoff run, an argument can be made about Morey's tenure with the Rockets being a successful one, given that they were the only NBA team to finish at least 0.500 in every one of 13 seasons he was the GM. But it's hard to make one about his latest experiment - the Westbrook/Harden pairing.

Morey was the analytics guru, and the numbers obviously pointed that having two ball-dominant former MVPs on the same team would've been a success. But it wasn't. Going out in the second round to the Lakers isn't the reason for it. The eye test is. Russ and James can't coexist, and no analytics can prove otherwise.

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So with Morey and D'Antoni being out of the picture, stepping away from the analytical might be the route for the Rockets, as they're in for a complete shift in their basketball philosophy. If that's the case, Russell Westbrook would be the logical next domino to fall.

With Houston president Daryl Morey stepping down ... league sources believe the Rockets are likelier to look into trading away explosive All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook.

Marc Berman, NY Post

The team that has surfaced in early Westbrook trade talks are the New York Knicks, and the best way to describe it is that they're desperate enough. The superstar point guard has two years left at $85.5 million but has a player option on his third-year. Whenever the 20/21 NBA season tips of, Westbrook will be the third highest-paid player in the league at $41 million. Combine it with his injury history, and the fact that he'll be turning 31 in November, it's safe to say Russ's contract is one of the worst in the association.

But it seems that the Knicks are willing to take it. And what makes them optimistic is the fact that Westbrook saw New York as a welcome landing spot last summer when the Thunder were exploring the trade market for Russ. So the mutual interest is there. The only question is can they make an offer that will be good enough.

A few of those 7 first-round picks in the next 4 years is a good start. Add some of their young guys along with some veterans to match the salaries, and the Rockets might look into it. For a team that might embark on an overhaul, it doesn't sound like a bad place to start.


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