After sending Paul George to the LA Clippers for a monster haul of draft picks, Oklahoma City Thunder is reportedly ready to completely hit the reset button on their team. OKC is now exploring the market for their All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, and a trade might happen any moment now.
There are several teams who are interested in acquiring Westbrook, who won NBA MVP Award in 2017, but the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, and Miami Heat are expected to be the most aggressive in trying to get the deal done with the Thunder.
The Pistons want to get back to being a contender in the Eastern Conference and think that pairing Westbrook with Blake Griffin would propel them into the East elite. They are also the team that can offer the most enticing package to Thunder in trade talks.
Rockets’ general Daryl Morey is known to be hunting for deals all year long, so Houston’s interest in Russell Westbrook isn’t surprising. The issue here is that the Rockets don’t have much to work with given the fact that they still have Chris Paul’s $125 million contract on the books. Sources close to the team described the trade as “a long shot.”
Finally, Heat are facing a similar problem to the Rockets as they previously spent some of their assets on acquiring Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade deal. Their only chance is that Thunder is valuing Goran Dragic’s expiring deal and would be willing to have some salary relief next summer.
Point guard-needy teams like Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic are believed to be exploring the possibility of adding Westbrook as well, but they are still to formally engage in talks with OKC.