Russell Westbrook could be traded before the start of the new season, according to several general managers in the NBA, as reported by a reliable league source. In such a scenario, Oklahoma City Thunder would prefer trading the athletic guard to the Boston Celtics, who possess the most assets to part with to complete a blockbuster trade.
Russell Westbrook unlikely to stay in OKC
According to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, most general managers around the league expect Thunder GM Sam Presti to trade Westbrook. “I don’t think anybody knows for certain what Russell Westbrook wants to do or intends to next summer,” Beck said on Wednesday, indicating that the ongoing Summer League is abuzz with talks of trading Westbrook.
Beck continued: “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.”
Remember, Presti has never shied away from making the big trades for a pile of assets. In 2013, he boldly traded James Harden. Last year, he traded Reggie Jackson and this year he has already traded Serge Ibaka. Presti would do whatever necessary to ensure Thunder’s future is secured.
Russell Westbrook to Boston?
Beck said the Boston Celtics are the likeliest destination to land Westbrook since they have a chest of draft picks including the 2017 first round pick from Brooklyn Nets (which could very likely be a top-3 pick), the 2018 first round pick from Nets, besides 2019 first rounders from Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies. Besides the picks, Boston has an array of young talent that can be sacrificed.
“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,” confirmed Beck.
Will Russell Westbrook be the next Boston Celtics superstar? Would Celtics agree to trade for Westbrook without a verbal assurance that he would re-sign next year? Remains to be seen.