NBA Trade Rumors: OKC Wants Kristaps Porzingis to Join Russell Westbrook

NBA Trade Rumors: OKC Wants Kristaps Porzingis to Join Russell Westbrook

Photo courtesy: Flickr/ Keith Allison

NBA trade rumors suggest that the Oklahoma City Thunder is unlikely to land a big name this offseason. However, they are presently involved in trade talks with the New York Knicks for forward Kristaps Porzingis.

Despite the NBA trade rumors linking Porzingis to Oklahoma, they lack the sort of assets required to interest New York in any deal. It has also been reported that the Knicks are in negotiations with teams holding top five picks in Thursdays NBA Draft 2017, as reported by ESPN.

Knicks want significant return for Porzingis

If the Knicks were to allow Porzingis, one of the franchise’s best players, to leave New York for Oklahoma, they would demand a significant return. Despite Oklahoma’s best efforts to play Kristaps and Russell Westbrook on the same team, the deal looks tough to complete.

Meanwhile, Phil Jackson, the Knicks president, confirmed on Wednesday night about receiving calls in recent days from teams regarding a Kristaps Porzingis trade. Based on NBA trade rumors, Jackson was asked why he would consider trading the 21-year-old.

“We’re getting calls. As much as we value Kristaps and what he’s done for us, when a guy doesn’t show up for an exit meeting, everybody starts speculating on the duration or movability from a club,” Jackson said. “The future, you know, what it brings. Does it bring us two starters and a draft pick or something that’s even beyond that? [That’s] something we have to look at as far as going down the road. We know what he is. He’s a unicorn and he’s special.”

Porzingis averaged 18.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game in 2016-17, his second NBA season. The man from Liepāja, Latvia is reportedly unsettled in New York. It has to be noted that the franchise has a record of 80-166 combined in Jackson’s three full seasons as team president.

Terrance Ferguson Picked No. 21 by Thunder

Terrance Ferguson, a shooting guard, was elected to play professional basketball in the National Basketball League in Australia. However, despite not playing in the collegiate ranks, he was selected as the 21st overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Ferguson plied his trade for the Adelaide 36ers in Australia. NBA trade rumors suggest that playing with bigger-bodied professionals helped him develop as a player. This will help him as he tries to grow more in the NBA, according to James McKern of ESPN.

The 19-year-old will be able to add playmaking depth for OKC as he slots well alongside Russell Westbrook. He will be able to demonstrate his three-point abilities when defenses collapse on Westbrook’s penetration. He can also take some defensive pressure off Westbrook’s shoulders.

OKC needs more support for Westbrook if they are to take on the difficult Western Conference. Hence, Ferguson has the potential to develop in the role.