Five Potential Suitors for Russell Westbrook

It is a shock to many (mostly Lakers fans) that Kawhi Leonard has managed to make the Los Angeles Clippers trade five total first round picks, second-year stud Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, and Danilo Gallinari for Paul George in what seems like minutes.

General manager Sam Presti, along with the rest of Oklahoma City’s front office, were as shocked as we were to hear the news that Russell Westbrook’s supposed partner-in-crime had requested an immediate trade. And with this move comes the realization that for the first time in a very long time, there is no clear-cut favorite to win next year’s NBA title.

As for Russ, an eight time all-star and former MVP of the association, he most likely won’t be playing in the finals next year. That being said, any team that acquires his talents will become a threat to make some noise in the postseason. Here are five teams that are in the position to do so:

 

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Detroit Pistons

OKC gives: Russell Westbrook

DET gives: Reggie Jackson, Thon Maker, Luke Kennard, Langston Galloway, 2020 1st round pick and 2022 1st round pick

This trade gives Detroit another superstar to pair alongside Blake Griffin. With a big three of Russ-Blake-Drummond and Derrick Rose coming off the bench, Detroit would finally have the chance to make their first legitimate playoff run in over ten years.

Oklahoma City continues to stockpile first round picks along with plugging in Reggie Jackson as a serviceable starting point guard to lead the rebuild.

Minnesota Timberwolves

OKC gives: Russell Westbrook

MIN gives: Jeff Teague, Robert Covington, Josk Okogie, 2020 first round pick and 2022 first round pick

This trade doesn’t make the T-Wolves a title contender. But it does give them a fighting chance for a long postseason run for at least the next 2-3 years. It will take a breakout rookie season from Jarrett Culver and a reinvention of Andrew Wiggins’ game to propel Minnesota to the top of the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City continues to stockpile picks while acquiring three starting-caliber players.

Miami Heat

OKC gives: Russell Westbrook

MIA gives: Goran Dragic, Justise Winslow, Tyler Herro, 2025 1st round pick and 2022 second round pick

It seems as though the majority of NBA twitter thinks that Miami is the prime spot for Westbrook. Great weather, a legendary executive and one of the most recognizable brands in the NBA spells out a no-brainer in the minds of many. With both Russ and Jimmy Butler in the locker room, it would be very interesting to see how a season would unfold with two alphas taking the helm.

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Houston Rockets

OKC gives: Russell Westbrook

HOU gives: Clint Capela, Eric Gordon, Daniel House Jr., 2021 first round pick and 2023 first round pick

This would be none other than the ultimate dice-roll for Daryl Morey. Having three ball-dominant superstars in a five man starting lineup would be a spectacle like no other. Along with PJ Tucker, the Rockets would be a starting center away from being vaulted into serious title contender territory.

Orlando Magic

OKC gives: Russell Westbrook

ORL gives: Aaron Gordon, Markelle Fultz, Jonathan Isaac, Mohamed Bamba, 2020 first round pick and 2022 first round pick

With this move, Orlando would be completely abandoning the rebuild with a lineup built around Russ and Nikola Vucevic. A second round visit is possible in the Eastern Conference, but anything past that seems far from likely.

Oklahoma City can take a chance on Markelle Fultz along with plugging Aaron Gordon in the starting lineup immediately. Or they could use one of their SEVEN newly acquired picks to draft a point guard.

As July drags on, we can only wait to see where the master of the triple-double will suit up next fall.

 

About kyledavis11 3 Articles
Writer for TTSM.

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