With the Kevin Durant Sweepstakes over, Russell Westbrook takes over the center stage as rumors of a trade for his services are swirling with the Boston Celtics ready to offer Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart and two 2018 future draft picks.
At the aftermath of Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors, Westbrook stated that he is not keen on a contract extension and renegotiation with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Westbrook intends to get into the free agency season next year. With that in mind, the Thunder might be pushed to sit it out with teams in the trading table rather than lose Westbrook without getting anything in return.
Told emphatically by league source there's no chance Russell Westbrook will do a renegotiation/extension of his contract (one yr remaining).
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 4, 2016
The Celtics have plenty of assets to offer to make the Thunder listen and it would include small forward Jae Crowder, point guard Marcus Smart, and two 2018 draft picks. For the future picks, the Celtics could offer their first round and second round picks to make their trade offer more appealing to the Thunder.
Crowder offers the Thunder a solid contributor in the forward position as he averages 14.2 points, 1.8 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game while Smart bring in an average of 9.1 points, 3.0 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game. They might be what the Thunder are looking for but their numbers could be a serious contribution to their cause plus they do not get to worry about next year’s free agency.
Report: Boston Celtics will target Russell Westbrook, DeMarcus Cousins, Jabari Parker and Jimmy Butler this summer, according to sources.
— Hoops Troop (@HoopsTroop) July 7, 2016
Though many have noted of adding Isaiah Thomas in the equation, it would be a risk for the Celtics to take. Having Thomas still on the roster would compel Westbrook to distribute the ball more often or else he will see more of the bench with Thomas stepping in. This would make Thomas as the Celtics assurance that Westbrook would not mess up their system if they want to be contenders right away.
For the Celtics, getting Westbrook would give them a piece that would make them contenders especially with the addition of Al Horford to their roster. With Westbrook and Horford on board, Thomas would get a breather as he gets helping hands to carry the load for the Celtics.
KD says he talked to W’Brook: “obviously, it’s tough…I’m sure he wasn’t happy about the decision, but he respected it as my friend."
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 7, 2016
Making a move for Russell is noteworthy for the Celtics if they manage to snag him this summer then they would have secured a vital piece that would guide their young roster to the goals set by Danny Ainge and coach Brad Stevens.