New York Knicks center Willy Hernangomez’s representation has alerted the team that he wants to be traded before the NBA’s deadline on Feb. 8, per Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania.
It’s clear to see why the 23-year-old wants out of New York, having been relegated to the bench behind Enes Kanter and Kyle O’Quinn.
Heading into the 2017-18 season, Hernangomez was slated to be the team’s starter at center after a strong showing in his rookie season and mounting issues surrounding Joakim Noah. While he was coming off the bench, Hernangomez showed the promise of becoming a force in New York’s frontcourt, averaging 8.2 points and seven rebounds in just 18.4 minutes per game.
That was, until the Knicks traded Carmelo Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Kanter and Doug McDermott in late September.
Kanter quickly won the starting job and O’Quinn’s hustle and grit earned him the No. 2 role at the position, leaving Hernangomez in search for more playing time. Appearing in just 25 of New York’s first 54 games, Hernangomez is averaging just 9.2 minutes per outing while putting up 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.
The lack of playing time has become an obvious hindrance to his NBA development, but that doesn’t mean teams have lost interest.
In fact, Hernangomez has received the most attention on the trade market among New York’s three active centers as several teams have inquired, including the Utah Jazz. With two more years under team control, interested parties don’t have to worry about the youngster just being a rental and could focus on upping his game to that of a starting-caliber center in the NBA.