Knicks acquire Rivers, rights to Llull from Rockets

Rockets guard Austin Rivers calls out a play during a game against the Bulls.

The New York Knicks have officially acquired guard Austin Rivers and the rights to Real Madrid guard Sergio Llull in a trade with the Houston Rockets.

Along with those two, the Knicks landed the draft rights to Belgian forward Alex Hervelle and Serbian forward Tadija Dragicevic. Hervelle, 40, played professionally in Belgium last year. Dragicevic was inactive last season.

In exchange, the Rockets received the draft rights to 21-year-old Ukrainian guard Issuf Sanon, a 2018 second-round pick.

River, 28, is 6-foot-4 and was obviously the key to this deal. He averaged 8.8 points and a career-high 2.6 assists in 68 games with the Rockets last season and brings a veteran presence to the Knicks backcourt.

The Knicks may not be done making moves, per Steve Popper of Newsday.

“The team remains approximately $18 million under the salary cap and also $8 million below the salary cap floor,” Popper wrote. “While the Knicks don’t have to reach that floor until the end of the season, whether it is now or during the season the front office will be hoping to turn that space into talent.

“(Knicks president) Leon Rose and his staff have already avoided the asking price for Russell Westbrook as the Houston Rockets have made him available in a trade. But Houston has been seeking young talent back as well as unloading the three-years and $133 million left on Westbrook’s contract. The Knicks didn’t bite on Chris Paul when the Oklahoma City Thunder moved him, again trying to avoid tying up longterm and pricy deals on their cap.”

About the Author

Sam Amico
Sam Amico is the founder and senior writer of Amico Hoops. He has covered the NBA on a full-time basis for both Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports, and has been a regular contributor to CBS Sports, the Boston Herald and

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