The New York Knicks are still without a coach and they are still scrambling as to how will they be able to convince Willy Hernangomez to sign with them as word is swelling that the prized Spanish center is going nowhere but stay with his team, Real Madrid.
The Knicks were in the news lately and it was not about Kurt Rambis or Phil Jackson but talks are swirling about what they need to do to land Hernangomez as his contract with his Spanish squad expires. The 21-year old Spanish has reiterated that his not going to and sign with a team in the NBA this summer and he plans to stick it with Real Madrid.
“I’ve read some stuff in the media and I’d like to say I’m happy where I am right now. I’ve said it a lot of times: I’d love to stay at Real Madrid to be able to win championships and improve as a player,” Hernangomez said.
He added that he is now working on a new contract with Real Madrid, this despite having limited playing minutes with the team because of its talented roster. But Hernangomez added that he intends to stay where he is. Hernangomez is averaging 6.7 points and 4.2 rebounds with Real Madrid in just 13 minutes of play.
“We’re gonna start negotiating. Right now I’m focused in the games ahead of us, but I do wish to say I am a ‘madridista’ and I’d like to stay,” he explained.
His agent earlier denied reports that the Knicks signed Hernangomez to a four-year contract worth $4.5 million but the Knicks are certainly working on a deal that would have Hernangomez play side-by-side Kristaps Porzingis and Carmelo Anthony.
Willie Hernangomez's agent, Andy Miller, says "there is no accuracy to the report" that NYK offered Hernangomez a 4-year, $4.5 million deal.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) May 12, 2016
Hernangomez was selected with the 35th overall pick of the 2015 Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, who subsequently traded him to New York in exchange for two future second-round picks. Now the Knicks are hoping for a miracle come NBA Lottery so that they can hopefully work on trade deals that might also convince Hernangomez to play in the NBA.
The Knicks does not have the luxury of trading any future picks and will just have to lean on luck to get a fate changing lottery chance for Phil Jackson to work on the rebuilding process he has in mind. If Hernangomez agrees to play for the Knicks, Jackson could use him as a chip to acquire nice and descent trade offers from teams, which have been inquiring as of late if the Spanish center is “available.”
The Knicks will try their best to work on a deal with Hernangomez and it is up to the Spanish side to either go for the bait or stay with Real Madrid, despite limited playing time. Knowing Jackson, he will never bend things just to let players have their wish, its either a yes or a no for the Zen Master.
Photo Courtesy: Real Madrid.com