In what has thus far been the only deal in the last 48 hour before the NBA Trade Deadline, the New York Knicks agreed to trade Willy Hernangomez to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday afternoon.
Charlotte Hornets are trading two second-round picks to the New York Knicks for center Willy Hernangomez, league sources told The Athletic. Forward Johnny O'Bryant is also headed to New York, according to Yahoo and ESPN.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 7, 2018
Here is Hornets General Manager Rich Cho’s comments on the deal for Hernangomez:
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) February 8, 2018
The deal makes sense as Hernangomez clearly wanted out of New York after falling out of the Knicks rotation this season in what is a log-jammed front court.
The ironic thing is that he would have played a lot over these last few months now with Kristaps Porzingis tearing his ACL and now finds his way into another logjam of sorts in Charlotte with Dwight Howard, Frank Kaminsky, Cody Zeller and Marvin Williams.
Hernangomez only averaged 4.3 point and 2.6 rebounds in 9 minutes per game for the Knicks this season, after averaging 8.2 points and 7.0 rebounds and 18.6 minutes per game as a rookie.
Hernangomez had his role usurped this season by Enes Kanter, who was acquired in the Carmelo Anthony trade and the Knicks had little use to play the two together with their similar skill sets.
He is only 23 years old and a great rebounder and finisher around the rim, his stats on a per 36 minutes basis give a vision into the double-double guy that he could develop into for a team, a valuable asset in a rotational big man.
While they don’t necessarily need Hernangomez at the moment, this is a savvy move to acquire a talented and underutilized young big man for little value in return.