Second-year big man Willy Hernangomez has officially requested a trade from the New York Knicks. Hernangomez has essentially ridden the bench for most of the season as Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn has stolen most of his expected minutes prior to the season. The Spanish power forward has played in just 25 of the team’s 54 games during the 2017/2018 season.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports was the first to report the news:
“Several teams have engaged in talks for Hernangomez over the past month, league sources said. The 6-foot-11 Hernangomez, already a close friend of All-Star Kristaps Porzingis, entered the NBA a season ago with the Knicks and blossomed as the season progressed. He averaged 8.2 points, seven rebounds, 1.3 assists and 18.4 minutes in 72 games last season and was a member of the All-Rookie first team.”
Hernangomez still has value as a young player despite averaging 4.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 9.2 minutes per game. The plus side is that he comes with a really affordable contract with $1.54 million in 2018-19 and a trigger date worth $1.7 million in 2019-20. Hernangomez fits the modern game and can run the floor the keep up with the high tempo offenses in the modern-day NBA.
The Knicks drafted the Spaniard with the 35th overall pick in 2015. Previously he had played for Real Madrid where he had a successful career overseas. New York sits four games out of the eighth seed and could be looking to make a move to make the playoffs. Still, the Knicks are playing with fire if they decide to trade one of Kristaps Porzingis’ best friends on the team who has had a relationship with Hernangomez even prior to beginning his NBA career. Hernangomez, 23, appears to be on his way out just like fellow center Joakim Noah who is expected to pursue a buyout with the team to get out of New York.