The Oklahoma City Thunder are re-thinking of accepting any trade offers for Russell Westbrook. Rumors are swirling that there are still no solid offers for their superstar point guard and that the Los Angeles Lakers offer do not sound appealing to them.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on July 8 noted that the Thunder is not yet exploring any options to trade Westbrook. He added that there is still a good chance that he would stay with Thunder until he decides to jump into free agency next summer. But the Thunder wants to get out of something if Westbrook indeed decides to leave them next year.
“Right now, his mindset in on the team they have and can we add pieces in the short term, can we go out in free agency,” Wojnarowski said. “That doesn’t mean he’s not leaving next year, but his attitude isn’t ‘aww man, Kevin left. I’m screwed, I need to get out of here.'”
ESPN’s Chris Broussard through NewsOk also noted that talks of a trade for Westbrook are all just on paper and nothing solid have ever been presented yet. He added that even the talks of a possible trade with the Boston Celtics looks appealing but explained that Danny
Ainge has not officially made any trade offers and event Westbrook has not yet broken his silence amidst all the trade noise about him.
“So this thing has to play out,” he said. “There’s nothing right now to those trade rumors. But it just makes a lot of sense and there’s a lot of scuttlebutt and speculation about it around the league. People are kinda putting things together saying this would make sense, that would make sense,” Broussard said. “But there’s nothing tangible at this point.”
On paper, even the offer of the Los Angeles Lakers would not seem to appeal yet to the Thunder. The Lakers are said to make a move to sign in Westbrook next year but if teams such as the Boston Celtics would give a serious pursuit of the veteran point guard, then the Lakers may be forced to put in an irresistible offer as well.
Reports of including D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and a first round pick would be good enough for the Thunder to start the trade talk. Westbrook has always wanted to play in L.A. as he grew up playing the sports out of UCLA. A native of Los Angeles, Westbrook would want also to play for his hometown in his NBA career thus making the Lakers a strong contender.
The Lakers have considered themselves the leading team to land Westbrook next year, but with how things are going, they should put a backup plan just in case the Thunder would start to accommodate trade offers.
Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck has noted that the Thunder might trade Westbrook even before the start of the new season for the NBA and when that happens, all hell will break lose once again as teams would be scrambling to get their shot at signing the eight-year veteran.
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