Knicks interested in Westbrook if Rockets make him available: report


The Knicks' search for a franchise point guard could reportedly be resolved on the trade market if they can't nab one in the draft.

Conflicting recent reports suggest the Knicks are considering all options as they look to reconstruct their roster under new management and coaching.

In one such scenario, the Knicks could move to acquire a veteran floor general such as Houston's Russell Westbrook if the Rockets in fact make him available for trade -- and then address other needs in the draft, Ian Begley of SNY reported.

Several agents representing "top free agent point guards" believe the Knicks are in the market for such a player, Begley said.

Recent reports also suggested the Knicks would be interested in Oklahoma City's Chris Paul should the Thunder make him available.

Westbrook's first season in Houston -- where he was reunited with former OKC teammate James Harden -- ended in relative disappointment, with the Rockets being bounced in the second round by the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Westbrook, 32 in November, averaged 27 points in 36 minutes per game with the Rockets, in his 12th professional season. He scaled back on his three-point bricklaying of recent years and shot a career-best 47.2% from the field, mostly on finishes in the paint.

Head coach Mike D'Antoni -- formerly of the Knicks -- stepped down at the conclusion of the season after four years at the helm, prompting questions about the Rockets' future. General Manager Daryl Morey is known for boldly overhauling his roster from one year to the next.

Houston owner Tilman Fertitta has claimed huge losses for his hospitality empire owing to the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis, though it was unclear whether his apparent woes would affect the direction of the team.

The Knicks have the Nos. 8, 27 and 38 picks in the draft, with some reports suggesting they'd like to move up to potentially snag LaMelo Ball -- while others say they'd be content to move back and perhaps take Kentucky standout Tyrese Maxey.

The draft was slated for Nov. 18.