The #FreeWilly campaign worked — popular Spanish center Willy Hernangomez, buried on the Knicks bench this season, is going to get his chance in Charlotte.
The Knicks and Hornets reached a deal that sends Hernangomez to Charlotte for Johnny O'Bryant and two second-round picks, something first reported by Shams Charania of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports and since confirmed by others.
Charlotte is sending forward Johnny O’Bryant and its own 2020 and 2021 second-round draft picks to the Knicks, league sources said.
Hernangomez’s agents had told the Knicks he wanted to be traded. Last season Hernangomez played more than 18 minutes a night in 72 games for the Knicks and showed promise scoring 8.2 points and grabbing 7 rebounds a game, shooting fairly efficiently, and making the All-Rookie team. But this season he has only played in 26 of the Knicks 55 games with Kristaps Porzingis playing some center, and Jeff Hornacek getting good minutes out of Enes Kanter started and Kyle O’Quinn. Hernangomez was the odd man out. Now O’Bryant will be glued to the Knicks bench.
In Charlotte, Hernangomez will back up Dwight Howard and get steady run and a chance to improve, show he has a place in the league. If there is a clear winner in this trade, it’s Hernangomez. The Hornets also save a little money in this deal and get a quality center on a good contract (Hernangomez will make $1.5 million next season then has a non-guaranteed $1.7 million in 2019-20) which is good for a team going up against the luxury tax.
For the rebuilding Knicks, they moved a guy out of their rotation and got a couple picks to help them with rebuilding.