Russell Westbrook Rumors: Thunder Fielding Trade Calls On Star Guard

Jul 09, 2019, 01:04
Russell Westbrook Rumors: Thunder Fielding Trade Calls On Star Guard

As the bombshell news broke that the Los Angeles Clippers had pulled off an incredible double swoop for Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, questions arose as to the future of Russell Westbrook and his role in the saga.

The next big step would likely be a trade that sends away Russell Westbrook, though finding a team with a desire for the divisive star and the cap space to fit him could be tricky.

According to the report, the trade saves the Thunder $39 million in salary and luxury tax.

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Trading Grant to Denver for a 2020 first-round pick - a move first reported by ESPN and confirmed by a source to The Athletic - was merely good business sense.

They received five first-round picks and multiple pick swaps from the Clippers in the trade for George with gives Thunder Sam Presti a strong incentive to look to the future.

"Thank you Oklahoma for two great years, you took me in as one of your own from the day I touched down", George wrote via Instagram on Saturday.

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The Kiwi signed a four-year US$100m deal with the Thunder two years ago and is owed more than $53m over the next two seasons. It seems unlikely that having three ball-dominant guards on the same team would mesh well together let alone vault the Rockets atop the Western Conference, Morey always has believed star power is the quickest way to a title.

A source said that Paul would not necessarily need to be involved in a deal that delivers Westbrook to the Rockets, although his $38.5 million salary is a flawless match with Westbrook's.

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Westbrook did it for a third consecutive season in the 2018-19 campaign, averaging 22.9 points, a career-high 11.1 rebounds plus a career-high and NBA-best 10.7 assists a game for Oklahoma City. Harden won MVP honors the following season and finished second in the voting three times.