Since the departure of Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook has been included in lots of NBA rumors in the 2016 offseason. A new team has been mentioned this week, with Westbrook possibly joining DeMarcus Cousins with the Sacramento Kings.
In a Zach Lowe podcast on ESPN, Marc Stein mentioned that the Kings are one of the two possible destinations for Westbrook, who will become a free agent in 2017. Sacramento does not have many assets to trade for, except for DeMarcus Cousins, who’s the only superstar in the team.
The Kings have a few players available on the trading block namely Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore. They also have young prospects and seven-footers in Willie Cauley-Stein, last year’s sixth overall pick and Georgios Papagiannis, this year’s 13th overall pick. However, none from that group is seen as having star potential and including future picks might be included to interest the Thunder in a trade.
The other team mentioned are the Boston Celtics, who are still looking to add another superstar to their lineup and who wants to challenge LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the best team in the Eastern Conference.
The OKC Thunder are in a tough situation if they can not convince Westbrook to agree to a long-term extension this summer. They lost Kevin Durant in free agency this year and they could lose another superstar next year if Westbrook leaves when he becomes a free agent.
The Thunder might be waiting for the best offer for Westbrook and the Kings will have to consider a package of young players and picks to convince OKC for a deal. The Thunder can also demand DeMarcus Cousins in the trade but the Kings will be in the same situation of just having one star if they deal their big man.
For the Thunder, they might consider a similar offer from other teams and the Kings if they want to completely rebuild and move on from the duo of Durant and Westbrook. For the Kings, they’ll be one of the improved teams in the Western Conference if they manage to acquire Westbrook to form a nice duo with Cousins.
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