Russell Westbrook has re-signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sam Presti now has a new challenge of building a cohesive team around the mercurial point guard. The roster is stacked with young talent, but it still lacks the Robin to Westbrook’s Batman.
Kevin Durant’s exit freed cap space for the OKC Thunder to bring in another high-profile player. There were reports that the team could trade for Blake Griffin or Kenneth Faried. Now, Chicago Bulls wingman Jimmy Butler has been thrown into the trade discussion.
Tony Heim of Thunderous Intentions indicated that Butler would be a great pick up for the Thunder. His low-profile game will complement Westbrook’s ferocious tenacity. He is athletic, defensive-minded and can play either of the two wing positions.
Westbrook did the Thunder organization a big favor by choosing to stay. It’s now up to the front office to keep him happy. Even though the Thunder have the personnel make it through the post-season, the roster is not enough to pose a real threat to contenders like the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Surely, Sam Presti know this all too well. He will likely orchestrate a blockbuster swap before trading period ends in next February.
It can be remembered that Butler was on the trading block last month. After the Bulls dealt Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks, many believed the team was going for a full rebuild and would soon move Butler next.
Real GM reported that the Bulls took Butler off the trade market when it became clear that they could create a new trio consisting of Butler, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade.
Butler agreed to a five-year, $95 million extension with the Bulls back in 2015. The deal runs until 2020 and includes a player option for 2019.