New York Knicks OUT on Russell Westbrook, could be looking to max Fred VanVleet

New York Knicks, Russell Westbrook

The New York Knicks have an interesting off-season ahead of them, particularly in free agency. With the 2020–21 league year ready to begin, things are just getting started after the NBA draft.

The Knicks landed Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley, a power forward and shooting guard who can also act as a backup point guard. They also turned several picks into more value by executing several trades. The early deliveries of Leon Rose seem to be positive, especially after they acquired Ed Davis of the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz traded away Davis as a salary dump, sending over two 2023 second-round draft picks in exchange for the Knicks acquiring him. Clearly, Rose is looking to the long-term, and developing his youth is currently his priority.

However, there were rumblings that Rose was interested in consuming a max contract, similar to what Russell Westbrook currently has.

According to’s Chris Mannix, the Knicks are no longer considering acquiring Russell Westbrook in a trade and have now reallocated their interest.

Westbrook’s contract is massive after he signed a five-year, $207 million deal in 2018. If the Knicks acquired him, they would be on the hook for a maximum of $47 million in 2022. That is not a recipe for success, especially with a player that demands a ball in his hands and will probably hurt the youngsters’ development on the roster. In other words, it’s a win-now move, and the Knicks are not ready to make that jump.

The New York Knicks could take to free agency:

The Knicks could look at Fred VanVleet as their point guard for the future, but one thing is for sure, he’s not going to come cheap.

“I’m tryin’ to get paid, man,” the former Raptors point guard said on JJ Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast. “I am not shy about that.”

VanVleet offers stellar defense and is an adequate scorer. He wants to get paid, rightfully so, but maxing him out over a long-term deal might not be beneficial for the Knicks right now. They could stick with supplemental pieces and develop their youth before committing long term to a player who might not deserve a max-deal in the first place. Settling shouldn’t be the new norm for Roses’ era.