Russell Westbrook will remain the franchise player for the Oklahoma City Thunder if recent reports are to be believed. Despite the multiple NBA rumors involving a trade for the superstar point guard, it now looks like Westbrook is willing to re-sign in OKC when he hits free agency in 2017.
Anthony Slater, the Thunder beat writer for NewsOK.com is reporting that there is no indication that Westbrook will demand a trade from OKC. There is a high chance that Westbrook wants to stay with the Thunder and re-sign with the team when he hits free agency in 2017.
“Westbrook has given the Thunder no indication that he currently wants out. To the contrary, one source described him as ticked off about the Kevin Durant departure, determined for this new challenge and eager for the season to start: “He’s ready.” Slater wrote.
Recent reports state that Westbrook was surprised and pissed off with Kevin Durant’s decision to leave in 2016 free agency. But that Westbrook is now more motivated to run the team as his own.
The OKC Thunder has still a strong line-up on paper without Durant with players like Enes Kanter, Steven Adams, Victor Oladipo pegged as key players with Westbrook next season. However, without KD, they are not one of the top teams in the strong Western Conference anymore even if Westbrook continues to deliver All-Star numbers.
If OKC can convince Westbrook to stay after the season, then the team’s rebuilding will be easier since they won’t have to start from scratch.
There is fear in OKC that Westbrook will leave in 2017 free agency like Durant did this summer. If OKC holds on to him, they could lose him for nothing as well like KD this year.
Trading Westbrook this summer or during the season will net the Thunder some good players in return with teams like the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, among others, mentioned in NBA rumors for Westbrook.
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