With the loss of franchise star Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder are left scrambling to find a plan for the future that might entail losing their other star player, Russell Westbrook. That’s because Westbrook has one year left on his deal that will allow him to hit the bricks if he so chooses. And with failing to receive any compensation for losing KD, the Thunder can’t afford to lose Westbrook without getting back some type of assets.
This process will surely be accelerated with the news that Russ won’t sign an extension with OKC. However, the difficult part won’t be finding a buyer for the explosive guard, but rather the issue of what type of compensation a team would be willing to give the Thunder back for potentially just a one-year rental. One team that could afford to take a risk at making a run to acquire Westbrook is the Boston Celtics because of the plethora of draft picks and assets the team has.
While other teams will surely get in on the bidding war to acquire the superstar guard’s services, Boston might have the most ammunition and are starving for a star to add to their already talented young core. And according to several general managers from around the Association, a Russell Westbrook trade is not only expected to happen before the start of the 2016-17 season, but a Russell Westbrook trade to the Celtics is the most likely destination.
“I don’t think anybody knows for certain what Russell Westbrook wants to do or intends to next summer,” said Beck. “But that said, let’s just say there’s a very strong suspicion, a strong belief among rival GMs that Russell Westbrook is not intending to stay and that he would leave next summer when he hits free agency. Because of that, the logical next step for Sam Presti, who is always ahead of the curve on these things, will look to trade him. I don’t know that this is happening at this point.”
“What I’m hearing here in Las Vegas from some GMs is that not only do they think Westbrook will be traded but it will be sooner rather than later. Probably before the season starts and the most likely destination right now is the Boston Celtics.”
The Celtics are capable of making an offer to the Thunder without completely compromising their core.
The general consensus is that a deal involving the Thunder and Celtics for Westbrook would involve a couple of draft picks and Isaiah Thomas. If Boston could land Westbrook and have a full training camp to get him acclimated with the team and system, the C’s could potentially give the Cleveland Cavaliers a serious run.
With already nabbing Al Horford in free agency — to pair with the nasty, defensive-minded guards and forwards the Celtics have, adding Westbrook’s offensive prowess to the mix might be enough to topple the reigning two-time Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers.
Celtics Nation might be on the verge of landing two star players for the first time since back in the mid 2000s when the C’s brought in two guys by the names of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
That worked out pretty well for Boston…