Playing time has been an issue all season for Hernangomez as Enes Kanter took over as the starting center after being acquired from Oklahoma City, leaving Kyle O’Quinn, Joakim Noah and Hernangomez to compete for the remaining minutes.
Hernangomez has only played in three of the Knicks’ last 16 games and has appeared in just 17 all season. He is averaging 9.7 minutes per night, roughly half of his playing time as a rookie last year. The teams reaching out to the Knicks believe Hernangomez still has potential based on his performance last season, when he averaged 8.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game.
The Knicks don’t want to part with Hernangomez unless they receive a “prime talent” in return, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. He adds that no concrete offers have been received, but the teams making inquiries have a history of pursuing European players. New York would prefer to deal O’Quinn, who is expected to opt out this summer, but has only received “mild interest” from contenders about him.
A deal has been considered likely for some time as New York tries to solve its overabundance of centers. Hernangomez has the easiest contract to absorb, making $1,544,951 this season with a non-guaranteed $1,676,735 for 2018/19. O’Quinn is earning a little more than $4MM this year with a $4,256,250 player option for next season, while Noah is virtually untradable with two years and nearly $38MM left on his deal.