Latest On Russell Westbrook, Thunder

The Rockets always loom as a threat when stars become available on the market and the Russell Westbrook sweepstakes are no different.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst (video link) hears that Houston is attempting to slip into negotiations with Oklahoma City, focusing on the possibility of a three-team trade. It’s unclear which players the Rockets would offer up in such a scenario, though I’d speculate sending Chris Paul elsewhere is the angle. Houston could swap Paul and Westbrook easily, as they both make $38.5M, though the rebuilding Thunder don’t appear to be a fit for Paul. Finding that third team would likely be necessary if in that type of deal.

The Heat appear to be the frontrunner to land Westbrook and the eight-time All-Star has reportedly placed Miami atop the shortlist he gave team’s front office, as Windhorst notes. Still, the two sides have barriers to overcome if they are going to come to an agreement on a trade. Miami is hard-capped, meaning the franchise cannot take back any additional salary in any trade. The team also lacks the ability to trade away a first-rounder until the 2025 season, having already dealt away its two future picks (OKC owns Miami’s unprotected 2021 and lottery unprotected 2023 selections).

Here’s more surrounding Westbrook and the Thunder:

  • Will the Bulls get involved in the Westbrook sweepstakes? It doesn’t sound like it. “When you look at the financial aspect of a player that’s 30 going out four years and the amount of money that’s going to be made, those things can tie your hands up and put your organization in a tough position,” VP John Paxson said without mentioning Westbrook directly (via Mark Strotman of NBC Chicago). “You want the superstars. You want to do what the Clippers are doing and the Lakers are doing, but we’re realistic right now. We’re not in that position. We hope that in a couple years with the development of these young guys, players around the league view us as a destination point where they can win at the highest level.”
  • The 22% stake in the Thunder organization owned by the late Audrey McClendon is up for sale, Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg reports. The franchise is worth approximately $1.5 billion, according to the latest Forbes report. Oklahoma City has sold out 355 games in a row, which is the third-longest active streak in the league.
  • Dan Devine of The Ringer breaks down the possible destinations from Westbrook but struggles to find a new home for the point guard. Still, the scribe contends that there will be a team willing to trade for him before training camp starts.
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9 thoughts on “Latest On Russell Westbrook, Thunder

  1. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    Where’s Westbrook going to go?
    All the top teams budgets are busted and the the teams that have money stink

    These outrageous contracts are causing nothing but parity in the NBA, it’s a disgrace quite frankly! All the signings this free agent period created a ‘zero sum gain’ aka marching in place

    SMH

  2. formerlyz

    That draft pick claim isnt true though. They could get rid of protections on the 2023 pick, and send a 2025 pick with pick swaps….OR OKC could trade them back their picks, and the Heat could include 2020, 2022 unprotected, and potentially include 2024, and 2026 if necessary, also with the pick swaps

    • mcmillankmm

      Yeah, I read something earlier they can’t deal the 2025 pick unless they remove the lottery protections on the 2023 pick

      • formerlyz

        That’s part of what I just said, but I’m also saying that if they needed to, they could theoretically offer 2 extra picks, instead of just 1

  3. x%sure

    Just a mention… If OKC loses Russ and trades for Sexton, they would have a similar player in one sense, in a player that gets down the court fast & hard. Sexton is young, shoots better, rebounds & assists less. But that is where SGA comes in.
    The Cavs bring some options to OKC/MIA in theory.

  4. phenomenalajs

    Honestly, the best thing for the game will probably not happen. He should stay where he is. The Thunder will still be able to compete and they have a bunch of picks coming their way.

    • washington_bonercats

      How many more years can Russ be as good as he’s been? RW averaged a triple double for the last 3 years and PG was talked about for MVP this year and they got knocked out in the first round. By the time those drafts picks become viable players Russ will have regressed a lot. Sell your top talents for draft capital and wait. Thats how small market teams like OKC have to run things if they want to actually compete.

    • afsooner02

      That whole matching salary thing went right over your head I guess…..

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