NBA

Celtics Rumors: Danny Ainge to trade for Russell Westbrook only if he agrees to sign an extension; otherwise trade for Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins or Kevin Love

The Boston Celtics are reportedly the ‘most likely destination’ for Russell Westbrook if the Oklahoma City Thunder pursues to trade him before the start of the season.

The Oklahoma City Thunder started their suffering when Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors in free agency. Following this move, a report said that Russell Westbrook will not extend or renegotiate his contract making the Thunder think of trading him before the season starts. This would be the best move rather than letting him go in the 2017 NBA free agency without getting anything in return.

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“Let’s just say there’s a very strong suspicion, a strong belief among rival GMs that Russell Westbrook is not intending to stay, that he would leave next summer when he hits free agency,” Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck said. “And because of that, the logical next step is that (Thunder general manager) Sam Presti — who is always ahead of the curve on these things — will look to trade him. I don’t know that that’s happening right this moment.”

After hearing the news, several NBA teams showed their interest to trade for Russell Westbrook. However, it seems like the Boston Celtics are eyed as the ‘most likely destination’ for the Thunder superstar.

“What I’m hearing here in Las Vegas from some GMs is that not only do they think Westbrook will get traded, that it’ll be sooner rather than later, probably before the season starts,” Beck said. “And that the most likely destination right now would be the Boston Celtics.”

ALSO READ: Celtics consider DeMarcus Cousins as ‘Plan B’ if Blake Griffin from Clippers fails

The Boston Celtics will be the best trade partner for the Oklahoma City Thunder. They have lots of trade assets fitted if the Thunder want to rebuild. The Celtics own the Brooklyn Nets first-round picks for the next two years and have three young players that they recently acquired in the NBA draft.

Russell Westbrook will surely be a good combination with Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford. However, Danny Ainge will not push the trade if he sees no guarantee that Westbrook will not leave next year. The Celtics should do what the Knicks did when they traded for Carmelo Anthony.

“For the Celtics to give up the kind of assets it would take to get one of the most talented players in the league,” Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett wrote Thursday, “they would have to be convinced he would stay beyond the 2016-17 season — the last on his contract.”

Russell Westbrook should sign an extension with the Boston Celtics as part of the trade. If he disagrees, much likely, Danny Ainge and the Celtics will not pursue the trade and waste their assets.

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