Community Shootaround: Russell Westbrook

Four days after news leaked that Russell Westbrook wants to be traded out of Houston, few teams are lining up to acquire the former MVP.

The Hornets were the first reported suitor, viewing a Westbrook trade as a way to skip a few steps in the rebuilding process and bring a huge star to Charlotte. The Knicks are also thinking about getting involved, but it’s one of many moves that are under consideration. The Clippers have been mentioned as well, but Westbrook might be an awkward fit alongside Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

There are a lot of factors that make Westbrook a risky investment. One is his age — 32 with seven surgical procedures in his 12 NBA seasons. Another is his poor outside shooting — 25.8% from beyond the arc last season and 24.2% in the playoffs — in a league where three-pointers are more important than ever. But the biggest impediment to a deal is probably his contract. Westbrook is owed approximately $132MM over the next three years, including $47MM during the 2022/23 season.

There are concerns about how effective Westbrook will still be by then. His success has always been built around athleticism and explosiveness, and he doesn’t have the mid-range game to compensate as he ages like Thunder guard Chris Paul, who may also be an option for the Knicks and Clippers.

There’s also the question of what the Rockets will want in return. There have been conflicting reports this week about James Harden‘s happiness and level of commitment to Houston. New general manager Rafael Stone can’t afford to give Westbrook away without enough compensation to keep the Rockets in playoff contention.

We want to get your opinion. Which team do you see as the best fit for Westbrook at this stage of his career? Please leave your answer in the comments section.

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