Possible Trade Scenarios for Westbrook
Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (0) dribbles next to Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Since Kevin Durant’s departure, leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, the number one question in Oklahoma City has been concerning Russell Westbrook. What will happen with the Thunder’s star point guard?
This upcoming season for Westbrook will be the final year of his contract with the Thunder, making him an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2017.
— RealGM (@RealGM) July 5, 2016
If Westbrook does not sign an extension with the Thunder, it would leave Thunder General Manager Sam Presti in a tough position.
Should he let Westbrook go into free agency next summer with the possibility of another Thunder superstar walking away with nothing in return, or should he trade Westbrook in attempt to get some players for him so he isn’t lost with nothing in return?
Now let’s assume Presti decides to trade Russell Westbrook: What team would have enough trading assets and be willing to bet that they could get him to resign with their team?
The Boston Celtics – The Celtics have multiple trade assets on their team like Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jae Crowder, Avery Bradley, Isaiah Thomas and two future Brooklyn Nets first-round picks.
The Celtics would be able to give the Thunder young players and picks that would be crucial in a rebuild if they decided to trade Westbrook, and the Celtics have been desperate for a superstar like Westbrook to able to take them to the next level.
Potential trade – The Celtics receive Russell Westbrook and the Thunder receive Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and the two future Brooklyn Nets picks.
The Los Angeles Lakers – With Los Angeles being Westbrook’s hometown and the Lakers drafting in the top ten in the NBA draft three years in a row, this makes them a prime candidate for a trade.
By the Lakers losing Future NBA hall of famer Kobe Bryant, they are in dire need of a superstar to take his place, and what better current superstar in the NBA than Westbrook?
Potential trade – The Thunder receive Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Jose Calderon, and the Lakers receive Westbrook.
The Miami Heat – The Heat is another big market team with a championship pedigree that could lure Westbrook into signing an extension with them. The Heat are in a state of transition after Dwyane Wade’s departure.
They have enough cap and trade assets to be able to get the Thunder to make a deal with them. The Thunder will need young players in any deal if they trade Westbrook, and what better young player than the terrific on-ball defender Justise Winslow?
The Heat also can offer the Thunder their unprotected 2017 first-round pick and a top 7 protected 2018 Phoenix Suns pick.
Potential trade – The Thunder receive Justise Winslow, Goran Dragic, The Heat 2017 first-round pick and the Suns top 7 protected first round pick in 2018.