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Latest On Russell Westbrook, Thunder

While trade speculation involving Russell Westbrook has been a popular topic of discussion in NBA circles since Kevin Durant left the Thunder for the Warriors, Westbrook has given Oklahoma City no indication that he wants out, writes Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman. One source who spoke to Slater described the star point guard as “ticked off” about Durant’s departure and eager for the new challenge of playing without his All-Star teammate.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical paints a similar picture, writing that Westbrook is “a proponent of the young talent” on OKC’s roster, and is ready to lead the team in 2016/17. League sources tell Wojnarowski that teams interested in trading for Westbrook have been informed by the Thunder that he’s not available.

As Wojnarowski details, the Thunder’s decision to rescind Dion Waiters‘ qualifying offer is related to the Westbrook situation as well. Teams under the cap are allowed to renegotiate veteran contracts, and the Thunder are making it a priority to get a renegotiation done with Westbrook. Thad Foucher – Westbrook’s agent – and Thunder GM Sam Presti have been in “regular contact” this month, but Westbrook has yet to commit to renegotiating his contract, which would mean forgoing free agency next summer.

[RELATED: Thunder to sign Alex Abrines]

Teams with the cap room available to do so are allowed to renegotiate veteran contracts if they were signed over three years ago. In Westbrook’s case, a renegotiation would allow him to receive a salary increase up to the maximum assuming OKC has the necessary cap room, and three new years could be added to his contract. For now, with Waiters’ cap hold still on their books, the Thunder are over the cap. But removing Waiters’ cap hold and renouncing their mid-level, bi-annual, and trade exceptions would allow the team to create a chunk of cap space.

If the Thunder can ultimately convince Westbrook to negotiate a new contract before he reaches free agency, it would give the team a chance to recruit one of its top targets in 2017 free agency to pair with the point guard — Wojnarowski identifies Oklahoma native Blake Griffin as a star player being eyed by OKC. Griffin has an early termination option available for 2017/18, meaning he’ll likely hit the open market next summer.

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14 thoughts on “Latest On Russell Westbrook, Thunder

  1. Ravens_Last_Place

    He should do the same as Durant…leave OKC. No offense but who wants to live/work in Oklahoma City, OK? Not many ppl. He played at UCLA so he knows what it’s like to play in a big city and major media market. I say he leaves OKC and teams will begin lining up to sign him and make their pitch.

    Durant leaving OKC really screwed the entire franchise. Wouldn’t be surprised to see them move eventually. It’s odd they were even allowed to relocate there in the first place.

    • Miklo916

      That’s like saying there should be no football team in Baltimore. You be posting the stupidest comments.

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        No. The Ravens are a profitable football team. It makes sense for the owner to keep them in Baltimore. But is Baltimore one of, if not THE worst city in America? Yes. Absolutely.

    • ErnestoFigueroa87

      Troll!

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        Why? Because I tell the truth?

    • 333ddd1

      Rules like salary cap and draft order basically mean the only advantage big market teams have is players may want to go there more, but just look at San Antonio. KD didn’t go to the Warriors to get better sponsorships, even though he will, he went because of the team. Look at Shaqs Magic, or the old OKC. There were an elite team that did it in a small market. Their star left but it didn’t come down to Bay Area vs Oklahoma/Kansas

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        Agree. But now their team is basically unattractive to other players because their star left. Westbrook will do the same if he’s smart and wants to win. SA is attractive because they have built a winning culture over a long period of time and have had great success.

        Just like when Shaq left the Magic, the Thunder will become irrelevant.

        As I’m typing this I’m realizing the Magic and Thunder might have the two worst team names in the NBA. Also up there are the Suns and Nets.

  2. Thronson5

    I don’t know if my last comment showed up but I think I sent it before finishing.

    I would love for Westbrook to come play in LA with the Lakers and slide Russell to SG but u think they would clash so you’d have to trade Russell in my opinion. If you even had the chance to get Westbook. And I could be wrong. Maybe they’d do good together but I feel like they are kind of he same type of player.

    I really think Wesbrook should stay in OKC overall though. I think he can win there and I think he can attract another super star or even two super star. I think if he leaves in Free Agency he may go to Knicks if Rose doesn’t work out there. That makes the most sense for him besides staying put. He is into fashion and has his own fashion brand and his line would blow up out there. But like I said I think he would stay and I think he can win there without Durant especially if they can get someone like Griffin in free agency. Durant is a beast and he will be missed but it’s not like you can’t build a good team without him.

    • Ravens_Last_Place

      LAL are a few years away from being an attractive destination for free agents. If they want Westbrook they will have to trade for him. To do that, they better be prepared to give up Russell and Ingram to start, and more. The more being another player like Randle or a future high draft pick.

      • Haaaaa.. DRuss, Randle and Ingram for half year of Westbrook? Someone is stupid.
        Try DRuss and Nance for Westbrook at the deadline if OKC is out of it.

        It seems obvious OKC will not trade him if theyre in contention.

        Lakers can sign Westbrook without giving up anything. And they will because that is where he wants to play, good roster or not, its LA as soon as they sign RW, stars will flock there.

        They did their job in puting together a solid core of talent. Not winners but winners if you add Westbrook and either Boogie or anothr top-3 pick.

        Hopefully the lakers can suck enough again this year to pull this all off.

    • lakersfan27

      Westbrook and Russell have very different games. They have some over lap but for the most part they both rely on different strengths. Russell is a much better shooter than Westbrook. Lebron is probably the only other player who can slash to the basket like Westbrook. I think they could play together just fine, but the bigger question with Westbrook in LA is can he fit into the system Walton wants to install. I really don’t see that as a good fit. I don’t think Westbrook fits the timeline of the talent they have in place too, and to bring in a player who is so ball dominant could stifle the development of that young talent. I love watching Westbrook play, probably my favorite player to watch right now, but how hard he plays the game doesn’t usually have a long shelf life. I think there is a good chance the next team to sign Westbrook could have some buyers remorse when he gets closer to 30 and doesn’t bounce back the same way he would in his early to mid 20’s.

      • Ya kind of like Durant and Westbrok have very different games.

        Youre over thinking it.

  3. jacobsigel1025

    I would love for him to come to Boston as a Celtics fan but he would be wise to go right down south to San Antonio

    • jacobsigel1025

      He could play with Parker for his last years and be the lead facilitator when he’s gone. Pair Westbrook with Parker, Leonard, Aldridge, and Gasol along with that solid bench would take down GS. With Durant possibly not going back next year and having 3 eventual max players (plus Durant) San Antonio would be the best team with Golden State not being able to keep everyone.

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