Knicks C Willy Hernangomez' representatives have asked the team's front office to trade him before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, per Yahoo! Sports Shams Charania.
The 23-year-old has been publicly unhappy with his playing time as Enes Kanter and Kyle O'Quinn have crowded his development. He has only played in 25 games this season, and in 9.2 minutes per game, he has averaged just 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Teams have been gauging the Knicks' interest in trading the young center, who showed promise last season with 8.2 points and seven boards in 72 games. His production earned him a spot on the All-Rookie first team in 2017.
"I feel great to know other teams are interested about me, right?" Hernangomez said earlier this season. "My situation is like this right now, not playing much. But I'm ready. I like to be with my teammates. I like to be a part of this team. But I don't want to [sound] selfish, but I want to play. I'm ready for everything."
Head coach Jeff Hornacek said that he wasn't aware Hernangomez requested a trade, NY Post's Zach Braziller reported.
Hernangomez has two years left on his four-year rookie deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
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Hernangomez is in a strange situation and so are the Knicks. Hernangomez 100 percent should be playing every single night. Instead, most nights he doesn't even see the floor. Is it his fault? No. He's got a coach who looks more inept every game. You can't blame Hernangomez for wanting to get traded so he can get some minutes. The problem for him and the Knicks is that his playing situation can change very quickly.
With Joakim Noah's time with the Knicks looking like it could be over, that may eliminate one center from the roster. That situation is still sticky, and Noah should honestly be playing every night, but that's another story. The other thing is Kyle O'Quinn could be the guy to get traded before Thursday. While O'Quinn is likely to opt out of his contract when the season ends, he can provide some much-needed frontcourt help to a contending team that could potentially give the Knicks a late first round draft pick. If Noah and perhaps O'Quinn are out of the fold soon, it would leave the once overstocked Knicks center position with just Hernangomez and Enes Kanter.
That would mean beginning Thursday night when the Knicks take on the Raptors, Hernangomez could see 20-plus minutes every night behind Kanter. If that's the case I wouldn't recommend the Knicks trading him at this point. His value is not very high right now and playing behind Kanter for the remainder of the season would allow him time to play and showcase himself for a potential trade in the offseason.
It could also show the Knicks that they should keep him and give him consistent minutes every night. Trading O'Quinn for contractual reasons and for the ability to play Hernangomez makes more sense than trading Hernangomez right now. The 23-year-old might just have to wait it out this week.