Thunder

The 5 Best Trade Scenarios for Russ and OKC

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In this berserk NBA offseason, the whole entire league has been shifting. Only eighteen of the twenty-eight all-stars from 2019 are still on the same roster. With all of these moves, it seems like no NBA player is safe this offseason.

Now that 2019 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard is apart of the Los Angeles Clippers (four-year, $142 million deal) and he was able to bring another LA native with him in Paul George, this leaves 8x All-Star Russell Westbrook back in the same position he was in 2016-17.

Alone.

The Oklahoma City Thunder have lost Kevin Durant, Paul George, James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Victor Oladipo all in the midst of the last seven years. The only franchise center piece they’ve managed to keep throughout all of that is Russell Westbrook.

Whether the 2017 MVP is the problem or not, the Thunder are back in desperation mode and they have to make a choice: Trade Gallinari and their set of first round picks for another superstar or Trade Russell Westbrook and start the rebuilding process.

If the Thunder are looking to rebuild and trade Russell Westbrook as Adrian Wojnarowski reported they are looking into, here are the best potential trade packages for Russell Westbrook.

 

Miami Heat

USA Today

Heat Receive:

– Russell Westbrook

Thunder Receive:

– Goran Dragic

– Justise Winslow

– 2019 1st Round

– 2022 2nd Round

The Miami Heat acquired their franchise’s new star in Jimmy Butler this offseason. To make Miami a threat in the East again, they need another star. Russell Westbrook can be that piece they need to have one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Not to mention they are both some of the best two-way players in the league. The Heat have plenty of young role players to complete this deal even if Winslow, Dragic and a 2019 1st Rounder aren’t appealing enough. Rookie G Tyler Herro has been showing how NBA ready he is in Summer League with shooting splits of: vs LAL (18 Pts 5-10 3P), vs GSW (20 Pts 7-21 FG), vs CHP (23 Pts 4-9 3P).

Westbrook isn’t a high-demand player for a lot of these franchises either. His history of inefficiency and “stat padding” is something coaches keep in the back of their mind. Both Butler and Westbrook are very outspoken players too, so combining those two in the locker room could be risky. Talent wise, it’s the best move the Heat can make and the Thunder will still have an insane amount of draft picks, players to use in future trades and a 23-year-old Justise Winslow who is just starting to mature in the NBA with career-highs all around last season.

 

Dallas Mavericks

LM Otero/AP

Mavericks Receive:

– Russell Westbrook

Thunder Receive:

– Justin Jackson

– Tim Hardaway Jr.

– Dwight Powell

– 2020 1st Round

– 2020 2nd Round (via 76ers)

The Dallas Mavericks are a team that’s looking to have their first big season of the future in 2020 with Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic and 2018 All-Star Kristaps Porzingis. With Dallas’ franchise icon Dirk Nowitkzi retiring they also lose a lot of veteran leadership that Russell Westbrook can provide in Dallas, all while creating their own big 3.

Oklahoma City will be able to surround their team with a 27-year-old Tim Hardaway Jr. that’s averaged over 17 PPG for the past two seasons. Justin Jackson is on his third season who started his last 11 games in Dallas. Lastly, they get a 27-year-old Dwight Powell who’s posting career highs in just about every category. OKC’s future will be in good hands with this trade. It allows these younger players to have an identity before OKC brings in more young assets, as well as their many rookies they’ll be drafting in these upcoming seasons.

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

Jim Mone/AP

Timberwolves Receive:

– Russell Westbrook

Thunder Receive:

– Andrew Wiggins

– Jeff Teague

– Robert Covington

– 2020 1st Round

This is the first of two deals that involve the Timberwolves, who in the other deal are involved in a three-team trade. In this deal the Timberwolves get rid of Andrew Wiggins’ huge contract, as well as his inefficiencies he’s had with Karl-Anthony Towns. KAT’s needed a one-two punch that can be lethal in the NBA, if it weren’t for Jimmy Butler’s distaste for Minnesota, we could’ve seen an impressive duo be created with them. Now Russell Westbrook has another dominant scorer to co-exist along with and KAT has a proven All-Star to motivate him without Andrew Wiggins’ inconsistencies.

The Thunder now have a player of the future in Andrew Wiggins, who can finally have the chance to showcase himself as a threat in the league as the number one option on a team. Jeff Teague can be a mentor to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as his contract expires in one year, giving OKC more cap space to look into free agency next offseason. Robert Covington will be a huge piece to this offense after showing he can be a consistent starter by averaging over 13 points ever since he’s been a starter¬†for the past six seasons.

 

Detroit Pistons

Danny Moloshok/AP

Pistons Receive:

– Russell Westbrook

Thunder Receive:

– Reggie Jackson

– Luke Kennard

– Tony Snell

– Thon Maker

– 2021 1st Round

In this trade scenario, the Pistons will be able to create the second or third best big 3 in the East. Westbrook can dominate their backcourt with Derrick Rose off the bench while Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond are forces down low. This becomes an immediate Eastern Conference contender even with the big future pieces the Pistons give up in the process. Although Russell Westbrook’s rebounds numbers will most likely go down, giving him his first season without averaging a triple-double since 2016, winning should be his top priority in his 12th NBA season.

OKC will get another shot with Reggie Jackson, who had his most productive efforts as a member of the Thunder. Jackson came out looking like a future star in Oklahoma City before being traded to Detroit for Enes Kanter and a few role players. His tenure in Detroit also looked promising in his first two seasons, but injuries and having players who demand the ball more caused his production to slow down. Jackson can play a big role in OKC and also be a great mentor to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

For the rest of the young trade assets OKC will receive, Luke Kennard who has been slowly maturing into a great scorer. Tony Snell helps with their depth and Thon Maker can finally have a full season with the shot at proving himself. Maker’s been on two franchises by his third season, but has always been playing a low amount of minutes per game. With this addition, OKC can help Maker develop into a solid role guy like they have with previous centers in Steven Adams and Enes Kanter.

 

Houston Rockets (3-team deal)

NBA.com

Rockets Receive:

– Russell Westbrook

– Gorgui Dieng

Thunder Receive:

– Andrew Wiggins

– Clint Capela

– Robert Covington

– 2021 1st Round (via Timberwolves)

– 2020 2nd Round (via Rockets from Grizzlies)

Timberwolves Receive:

– Chris Paul

– Danilo Gallinari

This last trade is tricky, since Danilo Gallinari just got traded to OKC, this trade can only be done two months after he’s been apart of the roster. With that being said, this trade improves every team. OKC still gets Wiggins and Covington like the one-on-one trade with Minnesota. This time with Capela, who’s already created an identity in the NBA as a rim protector and a walking double-double by age 25.

The Rockets receive Westbrook and Dieng to have a PG still in his prime just three years after becoming an MVP, while Dieng gets to become a starter again by taking Capela’s role and spreading the floor for Houston with his mid-range ability.

The Timberwolves still get the chance to be playoff contenders with Chris Paul and KAT being an offensive duo and potentially a lob city part two. Paul becomes a huge playmaker in Minnesota in a roster with a lot of guys who need a facilitator. Danilo Gallinari adds a more efficient scoring upgrade from Andrew Wiggins, who they’ll be trading away in this deal to still have two 20 PPG scorers. Gallinari had his best NBA season last year at age 30 and could potentially be the most underrated player in the league. Minnesota immediately competes in the West with a trio of Paul-Gallinari-Towns.

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About Juwan M. Davis

Editor/Writer for NBALEAD. Born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Living in Los Angeles. Minnesota Timberwolves fan. Twitter: @JuwanMalikDavis

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