After discussing the situation with Russell Westbrook and agent Thad Foucher, the Thunder are – for the first time – receptive to trade inquiries on their All-NBA guard, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter links).
As Charania explains, all involved parties – Westbrook, Foucher, and Thunder head of basketball operations Sam Presti – are working together to examine possible scenarios. As Charania notes, it could be difficult to find a trade partner for the star point guard at this point in the offseason, with little cap room still available around the league and recently-signed free agents not becoming trade-eligible until at least December.
The Thunder, who entered the offseason expecting to continue trying to build a contender around Westbrook and Paul George, abruptly changed directions last week after George asked to be traded to the Clippers. Oklahoma City has since significantly retooled its roster by moving both George and Jerami Grant, receiving Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and six first-round picks in return.
As a result of this change in direction, Westbrook’s long-term future in OKC no longer appears certain, despite the fact that his super-max contract with the team still has four years and $171MM left on it. He reportedly met with Presti over the weekend to talk about what happens next after the George trade.
We rounded up several Westbrook-related notes and rumors on Sunday, noting that the Heat, Pistons, and Rockets are among the teams believed to have interest. The Knicks, Celtics, Magic, and Timberwolves have also been mentioned as speculative possibilities.