Knicks Trade Willy Hernangomez To Hornets

1:29pm: The Knicks and Hornets have both confirmed the trade, issuing press releases to announce the deal.GETTY Willy Hernangomez vertical

“We’re excited to add a player of Willy’s caliber to our team,” Hornets GM Rich Cho said in a statement. “He showed last season that he can contribute when given the opportunity and we believe that the added depth he provides will benefit our frontcourt rotation.”

In his own statement, Knicks GM Scott Perry said the deal gives the Knicks “valuable” draft picks and better positions the club as it builds for the future.

10:22am: The Knicks are in the process of finalizing a trade with the Hornets that will send center Willy Hernangomez to Charlotte, reports Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. According to Charania, the Knicks will receive Johnny O’Bryant and a pair of second-round picks in the deal.

Those second-rounders headed to New York will be Charlotte’s own picks in 2020 and 2021, tweets Charania. Michael Scotto of The Athletic adds (via Twitter) that they’ll be unprotected.

A second-round pick himself in 2015, Hernangomez signed his first NBA contract with the Knicks in the summer of 2016 and played 72 games (22 starts) during the 2016/17 campaign. He averaged a respectable 8.2 PPG and 7.0 RPG for New York in just 18.4 minutes per contest in his rookie year, and appeared to be one of the promising young building blocks for the franchise.

This season, however, the arrival of Enes Kanter and the strong play of Kyle O’Quinn have resulted in a significantly reduced role for Hernangomez, who has averaged just 9.0 MPG in 26 contests. Even with Joakim Noah not really in the mix at center for the Knicks this season, there has been little room in the rotation for Hernangomez, prompting the young big man to repeatedly express a desire to play more. We heard earlier this week that the 23-year-old’s reps had requested a trade.

For the Knicks, the move comes on the heels of Kristaps Porzingisseason-ending ACL injury. Entering the season, the team had identified Porzingis and Hernangomez as two core pieces for its rebuild, along with Frank Ntilikina and Tim Hardaway Jr. Now, in the span of two days, Porzingis has potentially been lost until the 2019 calendar year, while Hernangomez is headed to Charlotte.

As for the Hornets, they’ll pick up an intriguing prospect who still has two more years left on his contract after the 2017/18 season. That contract is extremely team-friendly, with Hernangomez set to earn $1.54MM in 2018/19 and $1.68MM in 2019/20. Those modest salaries are especially appealing for the Hornets, whose cap sheet is currently overloaded with eight-figure salaries.

While Hernangomez is a nice pickup for the Hornets, the team runs the risk of creating the same sort of frontcourt logjam that plagued the Knicks. Dwight Howard is the starting center in Charlotte, with Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky also earning minutes at the five. It will be interesting to see if the Hornets plan to hang onto all those players through Thursday’s trade deadline.

Since they can take on O’Bryant’s salary using the minimum salary exception, the Knicks will create a very minor trade exception in the swap — it’ll be worth $1,435,750, the amount of Hernangomez’s salary for 2017/18.

Meanwhile, the two draft picks acquired by New York in the deal will essentially replace the Knicks’ own 2020 and 2021 second-rounders, which the team traded to Philadelphia back on draft day in 2015. The Knicks’ return in that trade with the Sixers was the No. 35 overall pick in the 2015 draft — the selection used to nab Hernangomez.

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35 thoughts on “Knicks Trade Willy Hernangomez To Hornets

  1. Ralow

    WTF? C’mon Knicks…at least attached Willy to a long term contract or something.

  2. sportznut1000

    i wonder what jt19 thinks about this trade now after going off on the poor guy from the other day with his tyler ennis and deng for noah and willy proposal

    • This is better than Ennis and Deng. Still a bad trade, but O’Bryant and a pair of second rounders is more valuable than Ennis.

      • What I should say is that O’Bryant and Ennis are pretty much the same in value (both journeymen who probably won’t amount to much barring some career awakening). The only real difference in value would be if a team values a guard or big more. But the second rounders, as uninspiring as they are, push this over the proposed Ennis and Deng deal. Swapping Noah and Deng would’ve done nothing for both sides as the Lakers are then stuck with a slightly bigger contract in Noah (about $500k more, which is peas to the Lakers but just slightly effects the future cap) and the Knicks are stuck with another veteran who likely wouldn’t play and would demand more playing time/demand a trade or buyout by next season.

        • hiflew

          It’s Charlotte, they never win, the second rounders will more than likely be top 10 picks. Top 10 seconds are arguably more valuable than a bottom 10 first round pick due to the lack of a guaranteed contract. Plus, second rounders are usually older and more polished, albeit with a higher upside. If they work, it makes for a quicker turn around, if it doesn’t work it is easier to cut bait. More flexibility and potential.

          • Second round picks rarely turn out to be significant players, and certainly not right away. Remote picks are worth less than current ones, and current ones can be purchased. Only in draft and stash scenarios would a 2nd ever be valued over a first. Charlotte didn’t have picks all that high the last few years, and won’t have a bottom 10 record this year. 2020 and 2021 is anyone’s guess. O’Bryant is not signed for next year, so he’s not a guy a rebuilding team should invest time in. Lose-lose to play a guy like that.

            • hiflew

              I disagree 100%. Willy Hernangomez himself was a top 10 second round pick. So was another current hot property, DeAndre Jordan. So was last year’s ROY, Malcolm Brogdon. They are not a guarantee by any means, but neither are low first round picks. Except the first rounders do have to have guaranteed contracts. The second rounders have about the same upside with far less commitment.

              O’Bryant is 24, he is EXACTLY the type of guy a rebuilding team should be playing. He might not be signed yet, but if you play him now you can see if he fits on your team and is worth signing during games that probably don’t matter a whole lot in the long run. Besides, with Willy traded and KP hurt, somebody has to play.

              • You’ve named 3 over a 8 year period, all higher picks than Charlotte has had over the past years.

                Rebuilding 101: You invest player development time in “controllable” young talent. Debatable whether O’Bryant has any talent, but even if he does, he’s not controllable, so a team that knows how to rebuild will not give him substantial time.

                • hiflew

                  Okay you want more. Going back to 2010-2013. I chose those years because those draft picks have pretty much become what they are going to be. Anything more recent still has players with the potential to go up.

                  Hassan Whiteside
                  Nemanja Bjelica
                  Landry Fields
                  Lance Stephenson
                  Chandler Parsons
                  Jon Leuer
                  Jae Crowder
                  Draymond Green
                  Khris Middleton
                  Will Barton
                  Allen Crabbe

                  That is 11/40 that have accumulated over 10 career WS. Almost 30% in a 4 year period. Same time period with picks 21-30, without listing the names had 13/40 with 10 career WS. Pretty much the same without guaranteed money involved.

                  Roster Situation 101: The Knicks don’t HAVE “controllable” young talent so they have to make do with what they have.

                  Rebuilding 102: There is more than one way to rebuild. Move past your starter classes.

                • hiflew

                  Besides, you aren’t trading for Charlotte’s 2nd round picks from the past years. You are trading for their picks in 20 and 21, when they are undoubtedly in the middle of a rebuild. If they trade Kemba, those picks will almost assuredly be top 10 if not top 5.

              • Late first rounders get a commitment of 1.5 mm or so for 2 years (from a 100 mm cap), and are controllable for 4 plus RFA option. Seconds, if signed, still get minimum (and higher ones get a guarantee) at 750K or so. Difference is less than 750K per year if signed. As noted, a draft and stash is better selected in the 2nd round because they are limited to rookie scale for 3 years, so they can stay overseas a year or two, and be paid appropriately.

          • The waived O’Bryant – pretty much settles it. Worthless. They “had” a controllable young talent in WH prior to the trade, that’s the point.

  3. DVail1979

    Minutes open up for Hernangomez in New York and he’s dealt almost immediately to Charlotte where he will have to compete with Kaminsky and Zeller for Dwight Howard’s scraps this year? Not an immediate upgrade for Hernangomez

    • hiflew

      Not really. Should be 2 pretty high 2nd round picks. Could easily get a prospect of Willy’s caliber with one or both of them. Johnny O’Bryant can probably soak up some minutes this season as well. It’s not a fantastic deal by any means, but it’s not that bad either.

  4. Horrible trade for the Knicks. TRADE THE DAMN VETS, NOT THE KID!!!! I guess Perry’s one shining moment will be the Melo deal. Sacramento and Orlando, maybe this should have been expected. Give away really. Remote 2nd rounders have little meaning. You don’t hit on many 2nd rounders even high ones like WH. He signed for slightly over minimum the next two seasons. Now, we have to sign KO (in addition to Kanter), and will be about 50 mm deep at the center spot. Horrible.

      • When a trade is easy to make, it probably isn’t a good one. Hard to believe they couldn’t get something for Lee or KO.

  5. It will really be funny when Hornets flip him for a 1st rounder before the deadline.

  6. smittybanton

    I wonder if that means Charlotte has a taker for Cody Zeller’s contract (along with Kemba Walker)? Surely this was not to gear up for the playoffs…

    • Jury is still out on Perry, but you’re talking about a franchise that has James Dolan in charge. As long as he is the owner, I don’t expect the Knicks to ever turn it around.

    • He learned how to build a team in Orlando and Sacramento. Mills (the marketing guy who played GM during the summer FA period) actually gave up a 2nd round pick to get Perry. So, he can trade away a controllable young player with starter potential for two second rounders (net of one, except the ones we got are more remote).

      • padam

        First off, what he built in Orlando he got fired for. Secondly, he was only in Sacramento for a month before getting traded for. I’m sure if he stuck around he’d have find a way to make the Kings even worse than they were.

        • I was kidding. Mills (MSG marketing exec) and Perry (career assistant GM) are complete unknowns, and that’s a joke to be running the most valuable franchise in the NBA.

  7. bdallen714

    What I don’t understand is with Porzingas out, why not plug him in at the 4? Obviously he is no Porzingas, but from what I had seen of him, he looked athletic enough to play there

    • He and KO have played a little together, regardless of who is called the 4 or 5. It at least gets him on the court, it’s not like we’re focused on winning games at this point.

  8. x%sure

    What about Cody Z? If Char doesn’t have trades lined up for Dwight H or CZ… big disrespect. And I thought their problem was shooting. Speaking of trading for shooting.

    Shumpert & maybe Zizic for Cody Z.
    Shump is a presence on D and was shooting 38% on 3s before the injury, and wants to leave; Zizic a young C; Cody is highly efficient, active and smart and now equals Howard in shotblocking. A lesser Love.

  9. Reflect

    KPs entire career is in question at this point, so it makes sense that the Knicks are pushing their rebuild back by collecting more future pieces.

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