Miami Heat Rumors: Russell Westbrook to South Beach In Trade Involving Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Goran Dragic
The Miami Heat will enter a new era in the 2016-17 NBA season after parting ways with resident superstar Dwyane Wade this summer. Will the new look Heat squad feature Russell Westbrook?Advertisement
Recent Miami Heat rumors are ripe, but Westbrook is continuously being linked to a possible move to South Beach. While the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers are considered as frontrunners in the race to acquire Westbrook, Heat president Pat Riley is known for making the impossible happen.
Westbrook To South Beach Via Three-Team Deal
According to Hot Hot Hoops, the Heat still have a chance to get Westbrook. All they need to do is to convince the Philadelphia 76ers to part ways with Jahlil Okafor, who will then be packaged with Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow to get Westbrook from the Thunder.
Okafor, the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, is reportedly on the trading block. However, it is worth noting that the Heat will have to give up costly assets to acquire Okafor from Philadelphia.
Westbrook To Take Wade’s Role
In the event Riley and the Heat successfully use a strategy from their bag of tricks, the Heat will not feel Wade’s departure that much. Westbrook could step in and play Wade’s role even better. The 27-year-old averaged 23.5 points and 10.4 assists on top of 7.8 rebounds last season.
More Miami Heat Rumors: JR Smith, Lance Stephenson To Take Dwyane Wade’s Spot in South Beach
With Westbrook on deck, the Heat could be lined up among the contenders in the Eastern Conference, especially if Hassan Whiteside improves next season. However, they will still need to get the necessary pieces in order to become a serious threat to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Brighter Future For The OKC Thunder
The Thunder are known for building a contender through player development. Giving up Westbrook will be a step backward for the franchise next season but could work wonders for them in years to come.
Dragic could be the point guard that could help Steven Adams and Enes Kanter produce at a high level on the offensive end of the floor, All U Can Heat noted. The 30-year-old veteran playmaker posted 14.1 points on top of 5.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game for the Heat last season.
On the other hand, Winslow could be their starting small forward and would get enough burn time to develop quicker than expected. The 20-year-old sophomore averaged 6.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 28.6 minutes per game during his rookie year with Miami last season.
Can the Heat pull off this huge blockbuster deal? Only time will tell, but the Heat should be considered dark horses in the bidding war for Westbrook, which will likely end before the start of next season.