The Miami Heat will enter a new era next season after former franchise player Dwyane Wade moved to the Chicago Bulls. But knowing Heat team president Pat Riley, the Heat will not lack star power for long.
Budding superstar Hassan Whiteside has already made a verbal commitment to stay, but the Heat still need to add more key players to become a serious contender — at least in the Eastern Conference. In need of another superstar, the Heat are mentioned in intriguing blockbuster trade rumors.
Russell Westbrook taking his talents to South Beach?
Westbrook could eventually find himself moving to the Heat soon if the Thunder decide to go into a different direction. Kevin Durant left for the Golden State Warriors, which fueled speculations Oklahoma City will also part ways with Westbrook for future assets, especially after also trading Serge Ibaka in June.
Riley will make a run at Westbrook if he becomes a free agent next summer, but the veteran executive could eventually decide to pull the trigger soon, the Washington Post reported. According to the report, the Heat could acquire Westbrook for a package involving Heat starting point guard Goran Dragic and sophomore Justise Winslow.
Who will say no, Miami or OKC?
Both teams will be giving up costly assets in the potential blockbuster trade. Westbrook averaged 23.5 points and 10.4 assists on top of 7.8 rebounds last season. On the other hand, Dragic tallied 14.1 points to go along with 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds, while Winslow posted 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds.
Losing Westbrook will be another big blow to the Thunder franchise, but it could eventually turn into a wise move. The All-Star point guard is not expected to sign a contract extension, NewsOK reported. This means they could lose the 27-year-old for nothing in free agency next summer.
On the other hand, Winslow has a bright future ahead of him, but Riley is not keen on going into a rebuilding process. In turn, the former champion coach might decide to give the former Duke standout up if offered a trade for Westbrook, who can turn them into a strong contender again next season.