Ever since the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Paul George to the Clippers, rumors have been speculating around Russell Westbrook being the next in line to be traded. They acquired Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari and numerous first-round picks from the Clippers.
This points to the sign of a potential rebuild in the Thunder’s future.
Westbrook is one of the best point guards as he averaged a triple-double for the third consecutive year in a row and would make an immediate impact on any team he goes to.
The problem with finding a new team for Russ is his huge contract. The former MVP has 4 years and $170 million left on his contract so finding a suitable team will be tough.
But there are some possible suitors that can take on the All-Star guard.
With that being said here are some possible trade destinations for Westbrook:
The Heat have been the team a lot of people can see Westbrook ending up on. Miami acquired Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers via sign and trade.
Some problems that can occur is first the fit and the lack of draft picks. Butler and Westbrook might not be the best pair as both players like to have the ball in their hands
The Heat also do not have a lot of drafts picks which is something that can cause this to fall through. They don’t have their draft pick next year and the Thunder already have their 2021 draft pick.
Trading Westbrook for Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk, Justise Winslow, James Johnson, and/or Dion Waiters would probably get the deal done.
Having Butler alone will not get your team far but pairing him with Westbrook would be an interesting duo to watch in the East. Miami also still has Pat Riley in the front office. He could help land another star player and Miami might be able to form another big three.
The Pistons are a team that has been trying to get over the hump for years. The team has not been a contender in the Eastern Conference in over a decade.
If they find a way to get Westbrook on the team that might just do it for them.
The possible trade sequence for this to happen could see Detroit giving up Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond.
For the Heat, they would be taking Jackson on an expiring contract and Drummond is still a good young player as he is only 25 years old.
With Westbrook and Blake Griffin on the same team, this can catapult them to a potential top-four team in the East.
The Magic seem to finally be heading in the right direction, having made the postseason for the first time since 2012.
They also re-signed Nikola Vucevic who was named an All-Star, as well as bringing back Terrance Ross and adding Al-Farouq Aminu to the team. Their intent on making and taking the next step.
Orlando is also in desperate need of a point guard, the Magic could send a package of Jonathan Issac, Mo Bamba, Evan Fournier, and Markelle Fultz for Westbrook.
For the Thunder, these pieces are good young players to start a rebuild. For Orlando, this can have them being a top team in the East.
Of course, the NBA is hard to figure out as things can get out of hand in a hurry when a player is made available. Just look at how the league took a turn with the Los Angeles Clippers acquiring Paul George and signing Kawhi Leonard.
The best thing to do with this Westbrook melodrama is to expect the unexpected.