NBA Trades: 3 Reasons why OKC Thunder should trade Russell Westbrook
On Saturday, Kawhi Leonard shook up the league. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN announced that Leonard would be signing with the Los Angeles Clippers and that he will bring another player with him. According to reports, Paul George will join Leonard in LA as the Clippers and Thunder reached an agreement. The Thunder will send George to the Clippers in exchange for four unprotected first-round picks, one protected first-round pick, two pick swaps, and former Clippers Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari.
This move benefits the Clippers but places the Thunder in an interesting situation. Last year, the Thunder were a playoff team. They finished the regular season with a record of 49-33. They were the sixth seed of the Western Conference and faced the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs. The Blazers beat the Thunder in a five-game series.
The Thunder were eliminated in the first round yet again. Paul George played through a shoulder injury, which hurt the Thunder's chances even more. The Blazers went on to the Conference Finals while the Thunder were eliminated in the first round for their third straight year. The Thunder needed to make a move but did the unexpected. They parted ways with George and find themselves in a different position.
With George gone, and the Thunder acquiring draft picks, fans have to wonder what's next. The Thunder traded one of their stars and should consider trading their other star. It is a tough decision, but it needs to happen. The Thunder should start a full-blown rebuild. Here are three reasons why the Thunder should trade Russell Westbrook.
#3 He's open to a trade
After the Thunder traded George, Westbrook's future was the topic of conversation. Westbrook is back in the position of being the leader with little to no help. This is a difficult position for any (star) player, and Westbrook deserves better. With this in mind, it is no surprise that he is open to a trade.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Westbrook is fine with the idea of Thunder general manager Sam Presti completing a trade. Teams have reached out to Presti in hopes of acquiring Westbrook. The Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, and Detroit Pistons are interested in trading for Westbrook.
Wojnarowski also says that Westbrook is open to and likes the idea of a trade with the Heat. This gives him an opportunity to join guard/forward Jimmy Butler, who signed with the Heat in free agency. If this happens, Westbrook creates another duo with Butler.
Westbrook wants to play for a team in contention. The Heat are a potential contender with Butler, and if they land Westbrook, they can become a threat in the East. If he is open to the deal, the Thunder could make it happen.
Trading a player such as Westbrook is never an easy task. He has played for the Thunder his entire 11-year career. His open-minded attitude towards being traded makes a difficult situation easier. So, the Thunder must consider this.