The New York Knicks need a franchise player to lead the club in the right direction and Russell Westbrook could be that guy. He does carry a hefty paycheck but is that not the price to pay to get a legit superstar?
Westbrook is a proven winner and someone who can do it all. After proving he could carry the Oklahoma City Thunder even without Kevin Durant or James Harden, the 31-year-old shifted to low gear with the Houston Rockets last NBA season. It was understandable since he was sharing superstar duties with Harden.
But as most know by now, the Harden-Westbrook reunion with the Houston Rockets fizzled and the club is now in the doldrums. Mike D'Antoni is gone and there is no telling if the Rockets will make big roster changes. Considering Harden is the heart and soul of the team, everything points to Westbrook possibly moving out and joining a new team this 2020-21 NBA season.
However, along with that comes Westbrook's massive $130 million deal. He has three years left under that contract but is worth every penny of it. If the Rockets are open to dealing away Westbrook, the Knicks are believed to be interested according to Ian Begley of SNY. And if it does fall through, it makes plenty of sense.
The past months have seen veteran guards like Chris Paul of the Thunder and Victor Oladipo of the Indiana Pacers to a possible move to Gotham. Though both are talented, nothing perhaps beats acquiring a former NBA MVP who can be a monster if properly unleashed.
Tom Thibodeau needs to turn the club around and there is perhaps no better player to do it other than Westbrook. He showed that with the Thunder, hacking out big numbers and leading the team to the first round of the playoffs on more than one occasion. And the only missing thing there was player support. The Knicks have that to offer.
They have young prominent stars like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson, players who could provide Westbrook the needed lift the Knicks back on the winning track. Some players may have to go and a sensible trade would include big men that the Knicks are not using.
Some may call it wishful thinking while others feel it would be worth the investment. The Knicks need a leader right now and Westbrook offers more answers than questions for Thibodeau. So the only question now is will the Rockets dangle the nine-time NBA All-Star this offseason?