The likelihood of the Oklahoma City Thunder trading Russell Westbrook appears to have risen even higher, given the Thunder’s dealing away of another veteran player. That news no doubt caught the attention of the Miami Heat, who are pursuing a trade for the veteran guard.
A Russ precursor. https://t.co/MZDY3SzzLX
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 8, 2019
Last week, the Thunder traded Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal that largely included future first-round selections. This most recent deal also includes another-first rounder, which puts the Thunder in a clear rebuilding mode.
Exactly what the Heat would have to give up for Westbrook remains unknown, with the Heat’s salary-cap issues adding to the difficulty in getting a trade done. Taking on his massive remaining contract of $170 million over four years would also require the Heat to make a huge investment in a player who turns 31 in November.
Still, Westbrook has averaged a triple-double in each of the past three seasons, a remarkable feat. If the Heat end up being successful, they would have a starting backcourt of Westbrook and Jimmy Butler, who they recently acquired in a sign-and-trade.
When the Heat take the court for their 2019-20 opener in October, it appears clear that the team’s roster will see a drastic change from the unit that barely missed out on a playoff spot last season.