If the New York Knicks can successfully acquire Donovan Mitchell, a trade for Russell Westbrook could be in the cards.
The Utah Jazz have let everyone know that they were open for business following the trade of Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Shortly thereafter, reports indicated that the Jazz would listen to offers for Donovan Mitchell. The New York Knicks are seen as the favorites due to the eight first-round picks they hold. But is there another move in the cards if they are to acquire Mitchell.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein (subscription required), the Knicks could discuss a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for Russell Westbrook, but that is only if the team acquires Mitchell. The last portion is the most important part to remember.
Knicks could make move for Russell Westbrook if they trade for Donovan Mitchell
Stein points out in a subsequent tweet that the Knicks are considering the move if they bring in Mitchell as a way to shed salary.
In his article, Stein mentions that the Knicks are looking to shed Julius Randle’s salary, and taking on the contract.
Randle just signed a four-year, $117.1 million contract extension with New York, which begins this season. Westbrook, on the other hand, exercised his $47.1 million player option for the upcoming campaign. He officially hits free agency next summer.
But, one thing of note, is that Stein says the Lakers are prioritizing making a move for Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and could potentially use Westbrook to facilitate a trade.
Westbrook was just acquired by the Lakers last offseason, as the team looked to pair him alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis to make another trip to the NBA Finals. That never happened, as the Lakers finished 11th place in the Western Conference.
In 78 games, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 7.1 assists, while recording a field goal percentage of 44.4 and a 3-point percentage of 29.8.
If the Knicks are to successfully pull off a trade with the Jazz for Mitchell, a trade for Westbrook could be something to keep an eye on. But, the former has to happen first before we even discuss a Westbrook deal.