A Wednesday report from Howard Beck of Bleacher Report suggested that rival general managers around the NBA viewed the Celtics as the biggest threat to acquire Russell Westbrook. Those GMs also believed that Thunder GM Sam Presti would be inclined to move Westbrook sooner rather than later if Presti feels that the star point guard is likely to leave in free agency next summer.
As I pointed out when I passed along that report, however, there has been no indication yet that the Thunder are actively exploring a Westbrook deal. Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes today that Westbrook’s representatives haven’t received word of any trade talks, and they’d almost certainly be involved in that process — after all, any team acquiring the Thunder star would want to talk to his reps about whether he’d be willing to sign up for a long-term stay with that new team.
As Deveney notes, that doesn’t necessarily rule out an eventual Westbrook trade to Boston, but it probably means that the Celtics haven’t gotten serious about targeting him to this point.
Here’s more from Deveney on the Celtics:
- The consensus among front-office executives at the Summer League in Las Vegas is that the Celtics will attempt to make a major deal soon, says Deveney.
- Boston’s top trade target at this point appears to be Blake Griffin. According to Deveney, a three-way scenario has emerged that would involve the Celtics giving up picks in a deal to acquire Griffin, with the Kings getting involved and sending Rudy Gay to the Clippers. However, opposing front-office execs say the C’s are reluctant to give up their 2018 Nets first-round pick or their swap rights to Brooklyn’s 2017 pick.
- If the Clippers do move Griffin in a deal with the Celtics or another team, they’d want to land draft picks and a “frontline star” to keep them in contention, per Deveney. I’m not sure Gay would qualify as that sort of “star,” but perhaps Doc Rivers feels differently.
- According to Deveney, several front-office members around the NBA continue to bring up Kevin Love as a Celtics target, even though none of those execs believe that the Cavaliers will be inclined to move Love.
- Deveney adds (via Twitter) that the Celtics continue to look for shooting help, and have reached out to veteran free agent Chase Budinger.
- Meanwhile, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald hears from sources that, while the Celtics have expressed interest in Westbrook and Griffin in the past, there have been no recent trade discussions involving either player. However, he acknowledges that Boston remains “very much open” to a major deal, and says situations remain fluid.