The New York Knicks’ alleged interest in acquiring All-Star guard Russell Westbrook was reportedly only motivated by the prospect of receiving an incentive for making the deal.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe indicated on the Lowe Post that the idea that the Knicks were looking to acquire the Houston Rockets guard was mostly false. In the end, the Rockets sent Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall.
“There. Was. No. Market. For. Russell. Westbrook,” said Lowe on his podcast one day after the trade. “I kept saying this over and over again. The [Los Angeles] Clippers were not interested. The Knicks were not interested unless they were incentivized. I don’t know where the [Charlotte] Hornets noise came from. Maybe it was credible. All I can say is from the people I know there, I never heard they were interested. There was, to my knowledge, nothing.”
Westbrook’s massive remaining contract was presumably a huge drawback for the Knicks, who are continuing their lengthy rebuilding project.
Had the Knicks taken on Westbrook’s contract, it would have likely caused salary-cap issues in their attempt to bolster the team’s roster.