Over the course of the last week, the New York Knicks have faced all sorts of problems. The first was the confrontation between Joakim Noah and an assistant coach during practice. This situation prompted the Knicks to look at trade options for Noah, but alas, there are no takers.
Next, Willy Hernangomez demanded a trade from the organization due to frustration from his lack of playing time. Hernangomez shined during the second half of last year’s season. New York was chasing an 8th seed playoff berth this season, instead of developing their young talent.
As Shams Charania reported, Willy Hernangomez has been traded to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Johnny O’Bryant and a pair of second round picks. The 2020 and 2021 second round picks have no protections on them.
For the Hornet’s, Hernangomez is coming from a crowded frontcourt to another one. The 23 year old has immense potential, so it will be interesting to see how Steve Clifford manages the minutes of Cody Zeller, Frank Kaminsky, Dwight Howard, and Hernangomez.
The salary of Hernangomez is also a huge luxury for the Hornets, who are strapped to the tax line. He has a guaranteed $1.54 million salary for the 2018-2019 season, and a trigger date worth $1.7 million in 2019-2020.
The Knicks originally drafted Hernangomez in the second round of the 2015 draft. This trade seems like the Knicks are selling very low for a member of last year’s All-Rookie First Team. Second round picks always come in handy when you are looking to make acquisitions, but the Knicks are not at that stage yet. This trade is even worse when you think about them trading their only star’s best friend.
Johnny O’Bryant is a career NBA journeyman, who will likely be allowed to leave this summer. He does not offer much in terms of stretching the floor, rebounding, or rim protection.