Northwest Notes: Westbrook, Garnett, Gillespie

Russell Westbrook hasn’t offered any public comment since Kevin Durant elected to leave Oklahoma City and join the Warriors, notes Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Westbrook also hasn’t offered any insight into his own situation, which includes free agency in the summer of 2017. That has led to speculation that the Thunder might consider trading him, rather than losing another important asset with nothing in return. Horne writes that he has been unable to contact Westbrook, either through his agent or the team. The only indications of Westbrook’s thinking are second-hand stories from his basketball camp in which he told a group of youngsters that he plans to stay in Oklahoma City.

There’s more news out of the Northwest Division:

  • There’s “nothing tangible” yet to reports linking the Celtics to Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, says ESPN’s Chris Broussard (video link). It’s worth stressing that, while Westbrook, Blake Griffin, and the Celtics have been the subjects of trade speculation at the Las Vegas Summer League, much of that speculation is coming from rival general managers and execs — not from sources within the Celtics or Thunder, or from specific player agents.
  • When the Thunder sent Serge Ibaka to the Magic for three players, Ersan Ilyasova was viewed as almost an afterthought, included in the deal to make the salaries work. However, as Horne writes for The Oklahoman, Ilyasova – whose salary is now guaranteed – could potentially come in and start for OKC.
  • Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau tells Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe (Twitter link) that he’s waiting to hear from Kevin Garnett on whether or not he’ll play next season. “The great ones deserve time,” Thibodeau said of Garnett, who has one year and $8MM left on his contract with Minnesota.
  • Nuggets assistant coach Noel Gillespie is close to a deal that would make him the head coach of the Hornets‘ new D-League affiliate, tweets The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Gillespie has been part of Denver’s staff for the past two seasons.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

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