The future of Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City has been in question ever since Kevin Durant left the Thunder to sign with the Golden State Warriors. According to the latest NBA rumors, the Thunder could end up trading him if they fail to convince him to sign an extension. Should the New York Knicks trade Kristaps Porzingis to acquire Westbrook?
New York’s answer will be an emphatic no, but Chris Broussard of ESPN thinks that the Knicks should trade Porzingis and Derrick Rose for Westbrook. He pointed out that Porzingis is not yet a sure thing so the Knicks should replace him with a top-five player in the NBA.
“I think he could be great. He could be Dirk Nowitzki or possibly better. But maybe he won’t. We don’t know yet. Like Karl-Anthony Towns, I’ve seen enough to know he’s gonna be the next great big man. Porzingis, I think he will. I love what I see but I haven’t gotten to that point that he’s a sure thing,” Broussard said in an appearance on MSG.
Video Courtesy: YouTube/MSG Network
It is certainly possible that Porzingis will not become great and the Knicks should trade him if they think that way. However, the 19-year-old showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie season and he is only going to get better.
Porzingis looked like a complete player last season despite his age and lack of NBA experience, as he can shoot, defend, pass and dribble. He just needs to put on some weight to bang bodies inside and post up, while also being more assertive on offense. He is undoubtedly the future of the Knicks franchise and the fans will revolt if they trade him.
On the other hand, the Knicks are in a position to sign Westbrook in free agency next summer. They have the money to offer next season and New York is the only NBA city other than Los Angeles that will help Westbrook’s clothing brand to get bigger.
The Knicks will have difficulty in winning a championship in the next couple of seasons. But if they can be patient with Porzingis, his potential star power could be enough to make New York a free agent destination once again.
As Kevin Durant pointed out last season, The Zinger is a unicorn in the NBA. A former MVP saying something like that tells you the real potential of the Latvian star to attract free agents.
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