NBA Trade Rumors: New York Knicks Hunting for Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul

Published 10/14/2020, 11:41 PM EDT
Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (left) celebrates with guard James Harden (13) after dunking against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of game three in the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


The New York Knicks last tasted their bit of small success in 2013 when they stood #2 in the eastern conference. In those days, the team was equipped with stars like Carmelo Anthony, Iman Shumpert, Raymond Felton, and a close to retiring Jason Kidd. Still, there was no luck for them in the playoffs.

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The highly valued NY-based franchise has been trying to rebuild ever since, taking it slow and steady. They had a poor 2019-20 season where they won just 21 games. However, stars like RJ Barrett and Julius Randle definitely made the Knicks fans proud. But now, as the off-season is knocking on the door, they are considering signing some vets in the league.

Russ and Chris Paul on their ‘might-have’ list?

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Rumors already had it that the Knicks are very much keen on signing Chris Paul (OKC) and Victor Oladipo (Pacers). However, now, a new name has been added to this list, and it is of Rockets’ Russell Westbrook. An NBA insider recently wrote on his Twitter wall, “I continue to hear the Knicks are open to taking on a big contract like a Westbrook or a Chris Paul… so we’ll see. They have ending deals and some attractive pieces (Randle and DSJ) plus their first round pick has value.”

Now, this can come off as more of a shock for the Knicks fans, and not particularly as a pleasant surprise. Russ had a very rough outing for the Rockets in the NBA Playoffs 2020. He averaged just 17.9 ppg, which is very unlikely of him. His shooting woes are known in the league, and the last thing the Knicks would want is a liability.

He can also turn out to be a great leader for the stars, like RJ Barrett to look up to. Plus, he still has a huge potential to make a strong comeback and give Knicks the edge in the regular-season.

What are the chances that Knicks will complete this trade?

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Scott Perry and Tom Thibodeau must be sick by now with the strategy of rebuilding slowly. They must now strive for a quick climb on the ladder. To achieve this, they will require a mix of potential All-star youngsters (which they do possess) and some key vets who have tasted great success. 

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Chris Paul, as a point guard, can be an amazing signing for them, but an aging Russell Westbrook can be tricky. Moreover, Russ has three more years on his Max contract with the Rockets.

Even if the Rockets agree to let him go, the Knicks will have to give away their draft picks or the young talent that they’re proud of. The Knicks surely have cap enough to accommodate an expensive Russ, but would they do it against the other intangible expenses? They already made a blunder by not signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving last season. They can’t afford to let go more such chances. 

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Sourabh Singh

1685 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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