The NBA as a whole has changed for years to come based on one man’s decision. And that man is Kawhi Leonard. The Finals MVP is set to sign a 4 year deal worth $142 million with the Los Angeles Clippers. But that was not the biggest caveat of night. It was what the Clippers front office did by trading SGA, Danilo Gallinari and a record-setting haul of picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for All-Star forward Paul George.
Now the question is, what will the Thunder do now with Russell Westbrook? Well ESPN Insider Woj reported that Russell Westbrook and his agent are now looking for trade suiters. So, here are 4 blockbuster trade scenarios for Russell Westbrook.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
Trade Package: Andrew Wiggins, Jarrett Culver, Robert Covington, and future picks
The Wolves would be sending over Wiggins who has still not proven himself in the NBA, a Rookie who has not stepped foot on an NBA court but has a lot of potential and one of the most underrated defenders in the NBA being Robert Covington. It makes sense for both sides. For the Wolves the organization would be getting one of the best point guards in the NBA which is what is missing for the team. The pairing of Russ and Towns would be in the top 10 in dynamic duos and Russ could mentor Towns on being more of a leader and more aggressive.
For the Thunder with them adding Wiggins and Culver and Covington would bring more defense and youth. It seems that OKC is looking to rebuild, so, why not add Wiggins who still has room to improve, Culver who has a lot of upsides, and Covington who is a proven defender in the NBA.
3. New York Knicks
Trade Package: Dennis Smith Jr, Kevin Knox, Mitchel Robinson, 3 future 1st rounders
New York missed out on all the big-time free-agents this summer and would jump at the idea to trade for arguably one of the most star-studded players in the league. New York is seeking an All-Star to come back to play in the Garden and Russ is now reportedly on the market.
For New York they just want a star to play for the Knicks to bring the franchise back to relevance. And the Thunder are looking to go young. Well, both sides can help each other out by giving one another what they are most seeking.
The Knicks would be mortgaging 3 young promising players and 3 future first-rounders. They are trying the show the 2020 free-agent class that they are a desirable place to come play basketball. They may have missed out on the top tier free-agents this summer but they added vets. So, by adding Russ would just entice the idea of more players coming to play for the Knicks in the summer of 2020.
2. Miami Heat
Trade Package: Goran Dragic, Justice Winslow, Bam Adebayo, and future 1st round picks
The Miami Heat did the unthinkable by clearing up just enough cap space to sign Jimmy Butler to a max contract. Pat Riley is one of the greatest General Managers in the league and would love to add another feisty player like Russ to the Heats roster. The Heat would send over Goran Dragic, Justice Winslow, Bam Adebayo and a haul of future first-round picks. Again this haul of assets would make the Thunder younger but still have a chance to make the playoffs in the tough Western Conference.
For the Heat the pairing of Russell Westbrook and Jimmy Butler would surprisingly work. Russ is the one who pushes the pace and Jimmy is a player who can close games for the Heat. And on defense, Jimmy and Russ could be really effective. And Russ and Jimmy have winning mentalities that would mesh very well together. They both have that edge to them that would be good for the whole team in terms of competing in the East.
1. Chicago Bulls
Trade Package: Coby White, Zach LaVine, Wendell Carter Jr and future first-round picks
Chicago loves point guards it seems like because they have about 3 to 4 on their roster. And by trading two-point guards for Russ would be beneficial to the team. By sending over White, LaVine and Carter Jr to the Thunder for Russ gives the Bulls a new big three. Which would consist of Russ, Markannen and Otto Porter? This would be a great fit for Russ because Porter is a great three and d player and Markannen is a stretch 4 who runs the court and can create off the dribble and splash threes. The Thunder would be receiving promising players and picks to build on their franchise.
Only Knock on Russ at this point of his career is his playing style. The market for him is pretty dry because of the way he plays in the playoffs and his attitude sometimes gets the best of him. Don’t get me wrong Russ one of the All-Time great but teams might stray away from trading for him.