With the NBA trade deadline three days away, New York Knicks center Willy Hernangomez is looking for a bigger role -- whether it's in New York or with another team, league sources familiar with the matter said.
For several weeks, Hernangomez's representatives have expressed frustration to the Knicks over Hernangomez's reduced role and his lack of development this season, sources said.
More recently, they've told the Knicks that they want them to explore a trade that puts Hernangomez in a situation where he can play more and continue to develop, league sources confirmed. More than a dozen teams have expressed interest in Hernangomez and several have made specific offers to the Knicks, according to league sources.
After earning All-Rookie honors last season, Hernangomez has fallen out of New York's rotation in 2017-18. He has appeared in just 25 of the team's 54 games, averaging 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 9.2 minutes per game. Enes Kanter, whom the Knicks acquired in September in the Carmelo Anthony trade, has started at center. Kyle O'Quinn, who has also drawn interest from opposing teams, has filled in at backup center.
New York would need to move Kanter or O'Quinn if it wanted to create an increased role for Hernangomez, whose desire for a trade was first reported by Yahoo! Sports.
The Knicks are not inclined to give Hernangomez away for a minimal return. Hernangomez, 23, is in the second year of a four-year contract that is worth $3.2 million in total over the next two seasons. New York is looking for a significant return in any trade involving Hernangomez, whether it's in the form of draft picks or a talented young player, according to opposing executives. Hernangomez, who is close friends with Kristaps Porzingis, averaged 8.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 18 minutes per game last season.
The club is hopeful that it can reintegrate Hernangomez if it is unable to trade him by Thursday, opposing executives say. The Knicks still see Hernangomez as a potential part of their young core, which includes, Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina.
The 6-foot-11 center said last month that he wants to remain in New York but also has to do what's best for his career.
New York (23-31) has lost 10 of 14 and enters play Monday four games out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
In addition to dealing with Hernangomez's situation, the Knicks also hope to trade exiled center Joakim Noah before Thursday's trade deadline, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Finding a deal for Noah and the three years, $54 million left on his contract has already been a futile task for the Knicks, who, league sources told Wojnarowski, are unwilling to attach significant future draft assets or young Knicks players to incentivize a team to take on Noah.
Noah and the Knicks mutually agreed last week that the veteran center will not return to the club until further notice.
Noah has been exiled from the Knicks since Jan. 25 after a dispute with coach Jeff Hornacek.