Russell Westbrook is a big admirer of Kristaps Porzingis. And Phil Jackson is trying to use the connection between the two to land Westbrook in New York Knicks next summer.
The Oklahoma City star sets to hit the free agency in 2017 summer. There are speculations over Westbrook’s future in Thunder in the post-Kevin Durant era. Durant joined the Golden State Warriors on Monday in the biggest move of this free agency.
Would Porzingis‘ presence drive, Westbrook to land in New York?
The Knicks and the Porzingis have Westbrook’s attention since February, according to the Vertical. The Knicks have acquired the former MVP in the form of Derrick Rose this summer as the starting point guard.
The Knicks will need to clear additional cap space to rope in the Thunder star. The fact that the franchise signed Brandon Jennings to a one-year deal as a backup guard, also hints at New York keeping the door open for Westbrook.
Another strong point worth noting in the Knicks-Westbrook dynamics is that New York assistant coach Josh Longstaff has a strong bond with the superstar, according to the ESPN. But as reported by the Sports Rageous on Monday, Phil Jackson and company would want to see Derrick Rose returning to the All-Star level. If that happens, it’s unlikely that the Knicks will pursue Westbrook next summer.
If the Rose experiment fails, the Knicks will be pursuing the Thunder star next summer by letting the former MVP walk away. Thunder would also prefer to trade their superstar to acquire the best possible return and avoid what happened in the case of Kevin Durant.
So, the door is open for Russell Westbrook in New York. The NBA world is also waiting to see what decision Oklahoma takes on Westbrook.