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NBA Trade Rumors: Michael Jordan is the driving force behind Charlotte Hornets' pursuit of Russell Westbrook as franchise ponders using their 3rd overall pick

Michael Jordan and Russell Westbrook
Michael Jordan and Russell Westbrook
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST
Modified 17 Nov 2020, 00:59 IST
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Probably the news that shook the NBA the hardest this offseason was when the media found out that Russell Westbrook wants out of Houston Rockets. Ever since this became public, many of the NBA trade rumors dominating the headlines have focussed on the question of where the future lies for the former league MVP.

In the aftermath of the blockbuster deal with OKC Thunder who swapped Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook, many expected that Houston Rockets latest backcourt duo would be enough to them to the title. However, the pair failed to establish chemistry in their one season together and as per Stephen A. Smith are not wanting to play with each other anymore.

NBA Trade Rumors: Charlotte Hornets appear to be the likely destination for Russell Westbrook

Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte Hornets

Going by the latest NBA trade rumors, Charlotte Hornets seem to be leading the line to sign Russell Westbrook this offseason. The team is owned by Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan and his interest in the 2017 MVP is what sparked the rumors around this potential trade. Previously when Michael Jordan was asked which current player reminded him of himself, he answered,

"Russell Westbrook. Thirty years ago, that's me"

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the Hornets' owner, wants to have Russell Westbrook play for his team. Aside from the fact that Westbrook is a Jordan-brand athlete, and partnering with Micharl Jordan in Charlotte will only help his commercial value, there is a lot that he can add to the roster as a former MVP.

Charlotte Hornets current void at the point guard position, and Russell Westbrook's love for having the ball in his hands, makes this a perfect fit. If this deal does go through, it won't only benefit the team but also the superstar who was clearly not the same alongside another ball dominant player like James Harden.

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NBA Trade Rumors: Not many teams in pursuit of Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook

In his recent article, The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor mentioned how nobody in the league is enthusiastic about trading for Russell Westbrook.

"However multiple league sources say interest in Westbrook is minimal...Most teams don’t need a starting point guard. And every team is scared off by Westbrook’s bloated contract (worth $44.2 million annually for the next three seasons), injury history, and polarizing playing style... there isn’t a long line of teams scurrying to trade for an expensive, ball-dominant 32-year-old"

The Charlotte Hornets, despite showing interest for Russell Westbrook, refuse to trade their 3rd overall pick in the upcoming 2020 NBA draft.

Russell Westbrook would lead the Hornets to more victories and would get fans in the arena but apparently, for the franchise that is still not enough to trade a top 10 pick in the draft. This decision by the Charlotte Hornets has led many to believe that the organisation isn't overly enthusiastic to make a deal for Russell Westbrook.

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There isn't a team in the NBA that looks at Russell Westbrook as the missing piece for a championship run. The 32-year-old point guard is extremely ball-dominant and often lacks criticised for not having enough chemistry with other stars. With the NBA Draft only 48 hours away and the 2020-21 season starting on Dec. 22, it's worth paying attention to Russell Westbrook and seeing where he might end up.


ALSO READ: James Harden to Brooklyn Nets is practically a 'done' deal, OKC Thunder holding out for more from the Phoenix Suns for Chris Paul

Published 17 Nov 2020, 00:59 IST
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