The Oklahoma City Thunder are reportedly considering trading star point guard Russell Westbrook this offseason if he plans on leaving the team in free agency next year. OKC would want to get something in return for him instead of letting him walk for nothing, and plenty of other teams are clamoring to add a superstar of Westbrook's caliber. Here are the five teams that are the most likely to acquire him - if the Thunder decide to deal him.
5) Phoenix Suns
Phoenix has a ton of young, intriguing assets that would please the Thunder, but Westbrook may not be willing to re-sign with the Suns as a free agent next season. Brandon Knight and/or Eric Bledsoe would provide OKC with a veteran starter at point, and they have two of Miami's first-round picks along with all of their own.
The Suns would also likely have to include sharpshooter Devin Booker (which they don't want to do) or either of their two first-round picks this year (Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss). Take one veteran (or two), one young player and a few draft picks, and they could meet Oklahoma City's asking price.
4) Los Angeles Clippers
Westbrook is from Los Angeles, and the Clippers may have a need at point guard with Chris Paul expected to decline his player option for next season - and he may or may not return to the team. The Clippers also have perhaps the best trade piece of anyone in Oklahoma-native Blake Griffin. Swapping one superstar for another would make sense for the Thunder, but Paul's presence makes this deal tougher. This deal is much more likely to happen next offseason, yet is still a possibility in the coming weeks and months.
3) New York Knicks
This isn't just a Knicks fan's pipedream - this is a very real possibility. Westbrook is intrigued by the idea of playing in New York City (he does love fashion, after all) and has openly said he would love to play with Kristaps Porzingis. The only reason this isn't higher on the list is because of New York's lack of assets.
The Thunder won't trade Westbrook for Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony won't waive his no-trade clause to play in OKC, and losing Porzingis dampens the appeal of the Knicks for Westbrook. New York would have to throw in a TON of draft picks, along with Rose and another player, to make this deal work.
2) Los Angeles Lakers
LA has a promising young core, and they could still keep it mostly intact while adding Westbrook. Getting D'Angelo Russell would be a nice way to ease the pain of losing Westbrook for Oklahoma City, and the Lakers could also throw in Julius Randle.
However, there is one problem that may stand in the way of a potential deal. Los Angeles will give their first-round pick to the Sixers in 2017 or 2018, and their 2019 first-round pick is set to go to Orlando.
Still, young players of Russell and Randle's caliber, plus one first-round pick and a few second rounders, could be appealing enough for the Thunder. Los Angeles could also sweeten the deal by putting No. 2 pick Brandon Ingram in the deal instead of Randle, but that's not something the Lakers want to do.
1) Boston Celtics
Of all the possible destinations, Boston is the most realistic and has the best chance to make an appealing offer to the Thunder. They can offer Westbrook the appeal of playing for what would be a title contender with him on the team, and they have an embarrassing amount of draft picks and young players to please OKC.
Boston would likely have to trade Brooklyn's 2017 (right to swap) and/or 2018 first-round picks to make the deal work, along with a few of their younger key rotation players. Marcus Smart would probably be part of the deal, as would Avery Bradley, Jonas Jerebko or Jae Crowder. The Thunder can essentially pick and choose who they wanted off Boston's roster (aside from Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford).
Simply put, the Celtics have the most assets and are Westbrook's most likely trade destination.Back to the NBA Newsfeed