Kevin Durant shocked the entire basketball world when he decided to join the Golden State Warriors and leave the Oklahoma City Thunder. The latest NBA rumors suggest that Russell Westbrook will not be signing a contract extension with OKC, leaving the Thunder no choice but to deal him before the 2017 trade deadline.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Thunder will try and sign Westbrook to a contract extension but the departure of Durant is enough for him to leave next season via free agency. If Sam Presti and the OKC front office can’t convince their superstar guard, they are prepared to listen to trade offers.
Dieter Kurtenbach of FOX Sports thinks that it will be smart for Oklahoma City to trade Westbrook so that they can get several pieces in exchange for him. Durant left the Thunder empty handed and Presti is not going to let that happen again. But which teams can package a deal to acquire Westbrook?
Ryan Glasspiegel of The Big Lead suggested that this is the right time for the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire Westbrook. The Lakers have the right assets to convince the Thunder to trade him to LA where he is expected to sign in the summer of 2017.
However, the NBA free agency is unpredictable that is why the Lakers should go after Westbrook now. Glasspiegel thinks that a package of D’Angelo Russell and Julius Randle is enough to get a conversation started.
On the other hand, the Thunder would probably want Russell and Brandon Ingram, a duo that has the potential to become the new Westbrook and Durant in Oklahoma City. It should be noted that these are just speculations and suggestions.
The loss of Durant hurts for OKC and convincing Westbrook to stay will be very hard to do. The Thunder will have to just move on. They need to quickly make a decision about their remaining star player and the Lakers should be ready to help them.
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