New York Knicks should avoid Russell Westbrook at all costs

New York Knicks, Russell Westbrook

With reports of the Oklahoma City Thunder interested in potentially finding a trade partner for star point guard Russell Westbrook, it presents the question – should the New York Knicks consider a deal?

With seven first-round draft picks over the next five years, they have plenty of ammo in the scenario that Westbrook is actually available and an option. The Knicks only have Dennis Smith Jr. and Frank Ntilikina as primary point guards, both are unproven and inconsistent.

Westbrook is a superstar that is one of the most dynamic scorers in the league, but the Knicks should stay far away from him for several reasons.

1.) Their draft picks are too valuable

Following the youth agenda idea, the Knicks are in a position to build upon the foundation they’ve already established with Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, RJ Barrett and more. Giving away potential influential players for a high-price option doesn’t make much sense.

Averaging $41.3 million per season doesn’t bode well for a team that just signed multiple players in free agency. The Knicks don’t need his cap hit on the books to succeed, in fact, they’re likely better off without his production and monetary hit.

2.) He will stunt the growth of the other players

The Knicks should be focused on developing their youth and giving them ample time and experience to refine their abilities. Putting a known ball-hog on the floor will only create a distraction and take the ball away from the players that need to work on their game.

Offensive players like Barrett and Knox need to continue building upon their confidence and skills at a young age and putting Westbrook in a position to take that opportunity away only hurts the overall success of the team and organization. In addition, he’d be on the book for four years.

The Knicks are better off waiting until next offseason to pursue free agent players like Anthony Davis, Mike Conley, Draymond Green, and Andre Drummond as they will all be signable without having to give up draft assets.

Holding on to picks and utilizing cap space should be the priority for a franchise focusing on their youth.