The Russell Westbrook trade talks have begun this offseason. Westbrook is a 9-time NBA All-Star and the 2017 NBA MVP. The point guard has been selected to an All-NBA team 9-times as well. Westbrook, 32, has averaged 23.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 8.3 assists per game in his career.
The former Oklahoma City, and current Houston Rockets point guard has been involved in many potential trades. Westbrook is set to make $41.3 million in the 2020-2021 NBA season. Where could the stellar point guard end up?
The Washington Wizards have, reportedly, been one team in talks with the Rockets to acquire Westbrook. Wizards general manager, Tommy Shepard, shut down the rumors of the Wizards trading for Westbrook, but the move is still possible. If the Wizards wants Westbrook in Washington, John Wall would have to be included in the trade to make up for each other’s large contracts. Wall’s contract is a little bit more than Westbrook’s sitting at an average of $42.7 million. The Wizards could include Jerome Robinson or Moritz Wagner in the deal as well to make sure they don’t go past the tax, but the Rockets will have to include a player as well.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers aren’t in dire need of a point guard, but they can upgrade. Patrick Beverley is a solid option on defense but isn’t the best on offense. Lou Williams has won the Sixth Man of the Year award multiple times, but he doesn’t start. If the Clippers want to make it over the hump and defeat the Lakers, they need an upgrade at the point guard position. The Clippers would have to trade away some key pieces in acquiring Westbrook. Beverley or Williams will more or likely be a player included in any trade for Westbrook. The Clippers just traded for Luke Kennard, but he might be another young piece in a trade. If Westbrook is traded to the Clippers, expect a few draft picks to be involved.
The Hornets could also be involved in a trade for Westbrook. This scenario is less likely due to Charlotte selecting LaMelo Ball in the draft, but it’s still very possible. Terry Rozier would probably be included in a trade for Westbrook. Miles Bridges or Malik Munk might also be added to a potential trade. Forward, P.J. Washington could be the key piece is the trade, but it’s doubtful. If the Hornets want to add Westbrook, they will have to give up a few draft selections.
New York Knicks
New York is once again in contention to trade for a superstar player. The Knicks have young pieces and enough cap space to trade for Westbrook. Veteran forward, Julius Randle, will probably be the key player in a deal for the Rocket’s guard. Some other key players that could be traded to the Rockets include, Dennis Smith Jr, Immanuel Quickley, Frank Ntilikina, and Kevin Knox II. Alec Burks or Elfrid Payton could also be on the move to cover Westbrook’s salary. The Knicks just drafted Obi Toppin, who went to college at Dayton, but he is unlikely to be traded for Westbrook. New York will have to include draft picks in a deal for Westbrook. If the Knicks can acquire the top-tier guard, then a duo of Toppin and Westbrook could be scary down the road.
Orlando’s point guards, D.J. Augustin and Markelle Fultz are veteran options that could be even better coming off the bench full-time. The Magic could look for an upgrade at the position and Westbrook can be the guy. The Magic have young players that can be traded to Houston for the All-Star point guard. Fultz could be included in a trade. Orlando also has veteran players that can make up for Westbrook’s huge contract, Evan Fournier, Terrence Ross, and Al-Farouq Aminu. The Magic drafted Cole Anthony with the 15th pick in the draft, but he could benefit from learning behind Westbrook this upcoming season. If the Magic were to trade Fournier and other pieces for Westbrook, Anthony might start alongside the All-Star. The Orlando Magic are a darkhorse team that has a chance to add Westbrook.
Any team that wants to acquire Westbrook will have to give up some significant pieces that will make up for Westbrook’s contract. Rumors have speculated about Russell Westbrook being sent off to a new team. The former MVP might be on the move once again, just a year after going to Houston.