After last season, before the Knicks traded Carmelo Anthony, the organization knew they had two building blocks for the future: Kristaps Porzingis and Willy Hernangomez. Conveniently enough, the two are best friends.
But after Anthony was traded for Enes Kanter, another center, Hernangomez has fallen out of the rotation. In the past eleven games, the Spaniard has played just five minutes.
"It's been really hard for me,'' Hernangomez said, via Marc Berman of NY Post. "The only thing I know is I work hard every day and try to be ready when they need me. I'm glad to support teammates on the bench because we're winning now. But it's been really hard for me. I've played 15 games all season. It's hard. But I'm working hard to be ready. I don't like my situation. When I have the chance to be on court I'll try to use it.''
Berman reports that the Knicks still believe Hernangomez will have a role to play in their future, and if they begin losing, they'll try to trade Kyle O'Quinn, which would open minutes for Hernangomez.
"I want to play. I want to play. I really want to be here. I love New York. KP is here. But I want to play," Hernangomez said. "I'm young, it's my second year. I have to play to get better. I've been working really hard every day. Everything I do is 100 percent."
Of course, Hernangomez isn't alone in being stuck to the bench. Another center, the $72 million man Joakim Noah has barely played this season.
"It's been hard for me and all of our guys,'' Hernangomez said. "We have one of the best team of big guys in the league. KOQ, Enes, Joakim. Other teams don't have really big guys. It's been hard. It's hard for Jo and me. Something is going to happen for sure. Right now we're winning. We have great chemistry but you never know.''