Knicks get Sergio Llull in Austin Rivers sign-and-trade with Rockets

Sergio Llull was once one of the most intriguing players in Europe. The No. 34 pick in 2009, the Rockets held his rights since that draft. Every couple years, there was speculation about him signing with Houston.

But he’s playing out his contract with Real Madrid, got hurt and is now 33

Will Llull ever play in the NBA?

If he does, the Knicks now hold his rights, which were transferred in the Austin Rivers sign-and-trade.

Knicks release:

The New York Knicks announced today that the team has acquired guard Austin Rivers in a sign-and-trade and the draft rights to guard Sergio Llull and forwards Tadija Dragicevic and Alex Hervelle from the Houston Rockets in exchange for the draft rights to Issuf Sanon.

The Knicks had cap space to sign Rivers outright. The sign-and-trade gets Houston a trade exception worth Rivers’ 2020-21 salary. So, the Rockets had to compensate New York.

Dragicevic (34) and Alex Hervelle (37) don’t look like NBA prospects. That leave Llull as the return. So, the Knicks seemingly believe he has at least some value – especially considering what New York sent Houston.

The No. 44 pick in 2018 by the Wizards, Sanon (21) holds at least some theoretical upside.