Russell Westbrook to Houston for Chris Paul and picks

Royal Reader

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Dopes, hope this is OK. There's a bunch of Westbrook talk in the Clippers, Lakers and general off season thread.

Westbrook is one season into a five year supermax deal with a $47m player option for 22-23. The Thunder are a small market team with an expensive and non-competitive roster. The player has been reported to be in talks with GM Sam Presti about his future.

Where could he end up? The obvious thought is the Knicks on account of how Knicksy a move it would be, but N.Y.'s moves to date suggest they're OK with being bad and want to make a splash in the 2021 off season. Some have floated Toronto, but I can't see how that makes much sense for the Raps. It seems like he'd only have value to a contender with a hole at point, but such a team doesn't exist beyond the Lakers, who have no assets.
 

jon abbey

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Miami has also been rumored, not sure how feasible that actually is. If OKC can wait until December 15, I bet that the Knicks would go for it if the acquisition cost is reasonable.
 

Lazy vs Crazy

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Minnesota makes sense. Get off of Wiggins and pair KAT with Russ. They'd need to throw in another piece to make the salaries work, but it's the best fit I can think of. Playing with a big with range would open up the lanes for Russ.
 

TripleOT

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The scuzzy ownership in OKC didn't want to spend the money to keep Harden, and lost the chance to go on a remarkable run. They ended up paying the tax anyways, and could not break through and get a title. Now they're looking at a long rebuild.

Rolling out Westbrook as a one man circus act every night will at least be entertaining for their fans.
 

lovegtm

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The scuzzy ownership in OKC didn't want to spend the money to keep Harden, and lost the chance to go on a remarkable run. They ended up paying the tax anyways, and could not break through and get a title. Now they're looking at a long rebuild.

Rolling out Westbrook as a one man circus act every night will at least be entertaining for their fans.
Meh, aren’t their fans a bit bored of that particular act? We all know how it ends.
 

ifmanis5

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Heat, Magic and Knicks also make sense. Not sure how Russ feels about those cities. Since Presti already offered up Russ and PG to Toronto I'd think that his days in OKC are numbered. I also think that most of the smart GMs have figured out that you can't win it with an age 30 Russ as your primary.
 

Kliq

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Westbrook to Minnesota would be a really interesting deal and you might be able to make it work if you force them to take Wiggins back.

I still think Westbrook brings more to the table than what he takes off, but he needs to be in the right situation.
 

BigSoxFan

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How about Westbrook to Spurs? They can match salary easily with DeRozan/Mills. Would need to add more value but could complete the deal pretty easily.
 

moondog80

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Minnesota makes sense. Get off of Wiggins and pair KAT with Russ. They'd need to throw in another piece to make the salaries work, but it's the best fit I can think of. Playing with a big with range would open up the lanes for Russ.
This was my thought. Wiggins and Jarret Culver.
 

Tony C

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The Spurs? Have to admit, Pops and Westbrook would be an entertaining duo -- wouldn't Pops murdering Wesbrook be the downside, though? Or wld that be upside?
 

BigSoxFan

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The Spurs? Have to admit, Pops and Westbrook would be an entertaining duo -- wouldn't Pops murdering Wesbrook be the downside, though? Or wld that be upside?
Spurs love Dejounte so probably wouldn’t be interested but Pop + Westbrook could be lethal. Of course, coming off the Kawhi stuff, Pop’s appetite for divas is probably minimal. But this is a team that needs to win now with Aldridge being like 33.
 

maufman

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RWB is a formerly overrated player who’s perceived value is quickly falling in line with reality.

That said, we’re talking about a fall from “perennial MVP candidate worthy of comparisons to Big-O” to merely “fringe top-10 player.” If OKC wants to move on, they should get real value from someone for the right to assume that contract, even if the last year (when RWB will be 34, iirc) is likely to be ugly.
 

Devizier

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At his peak, Westbrook was not overrated. The dislike he engendered meant that a lot of people celebrated when his numbers started declining but he is still an excellent player. However, his decline is real and looks precipitous. Caveat emptor.
 

Jimbodandy

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RWB is a formerly overrated player who’s perceived value is quickly falling in line with reality.

That said, we’re talking about a fall from “perennial MVP candidate worthy of comparisons to Big-O” to merely “fringe top-10 player.” If OKC wants to move on, they should get real value from someone for the right to assume that contract, even if the last year (when RWB will be 34, iirc) is likely to be ugly.
Agreed. RWB is a guy who does a ton of things. He's an innings-eater, so to speak. I think that he brings a ton of value to a team that needs lots of production, where his suboptimal efficiency and turnover tendencies are less of a concern.
 

DrewDawg

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At his peak, Westbrook was not overrated. The dislike he engendered meant that a lot of people celebrated when his numbers started declining but he is still an excellent player. However, his decline is real and looks precipitous. Caveat emptor.
Only his scoring really declined the last 2 seasons, and that's because he was playing with Paul George. A lot of his other numbers are in the ballpark of where he was before---some up, some down. If he stays in OKC his scoring will go right back up to 28-30 ppg.
 

slamminsammya

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He's a good player to illustrate this idea of "scalability" that Ive been reading in NBA media, which is the idea of how well a given player slots in to a very good team. Westbrook's style of play has never seemed very scalable - we saw this when he had KD. He needs the ball so much but is not good enough without it that its always seemed far fetched he could be the best or second best player on a championship contender.
 

Kliq

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He's a good player to illustrate this idea of "scalability" that Ive been reading in NBA media, which is the idea of how well a given player slots in to a very good team. Westbrook's style of play has never seemed very scalable - we saw this when he had KD. He needs the ball so much but is not good enough without it that its always seemed far fetched he could be the best or second best player on a championship contender.
Except he totally was and he was arguably a Klay Thompson hot streak from being the second best player on a championship team.

He has his faults, but he is also the best playmaker in the league and the best rebounding guard of all time.
 

Devizier

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Only his scoring really declined the last 2 seasons, and that's because he was playing with Paul George. A lot of his other numbers are in the ballpark of where he was before---some up, some down. If he stays in OKC his scoring will go right back up to 28-30 ppg.
His TS% has declined from .554 to .524 to .501 the last three seasons. That's not typically a function of declining usage. You would think that with George on the court he would have more space to score.
 

Euclis20

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In his first 9 years Westbrook took nearly 5000 free throws and hit a very solid 82.3% of them. In the last 2 years he's taken just over 1000 and hit just 70.1%. What happened? More than anything else this is a baffling drop off and a huge reason why his scoring efficiency has cratered. His eFG% (which does not take free throws into account) is .468 and .477 the last two years, not far off the three years prior (.476, .489, .455). His free throw percentage (and to a lesser extent his free throw rate) have dropped a lot the last two years which is why he's become so much less efficient as a scorer.
 

bowiac

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TripleOT

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RWB, Adams, and Schroeder for CP3, Capela, and Gordon. OKC gets a young rim runner/protecting center at 60% the price of Adams, get away from paying a backup PG $30m over the next two seasons, and get an affordable three point shooter in Gordon. Houston gets Westbrook, who will have to take turns iso-ing with Harden.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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I would swap Paul for Westbrook in a heartbeat. Make it happen, Morey.
Turning shots by CP3 (.508 eFG, .560 TS) into shots by Westbrook (.468 eFG, .501 TS) seems inefficient, especially since Westbrook is such a high usage player by nature that it will also mean turning shots by Harden (.541 eFG, .616 TS) into shots by Westbrook. Seems a very anti-Morey move, in a vacuum. Maybe you bank on Westbrook being ok deferring to Harden, and his efficiency going up accordingly with decreased usage, but that’s a big risk to take both from an on court perspective and a locker room/fit perspective.
 

bowiac

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Westbrook is also probably a worse off-ball player, and thus a worse fit with Harden, since he doesn't really need to be guarded without the ball. Westbrook may be a better fit some teams who struggle with halfcourt offense and shot creation (e.g., Utah last year), but for a team with Harden, he really seems like a dubious fit.
 

DrewDawg

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Why would RWB want to go to Charlotte? They would be a worse situation than OKC next year.
I never said he would. I'm here for entertainment, and I would be highly entertained by seeing Rozier's reaction.

And he's going to be hard-pressed to find himself end up in a "good" situation. I'm also not convinced that what RWB considers a good situation is what we would consider a good situation.
 

Jimbodandy

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I'm also not convinced that what RWB considers a good situation is what we would consider a good situation.
Underrated point.

I make the same point about teams making trades ("wtf they should be tanking, not adding"). Our idea of what a team should be doing doesn't necessarily align with their ownership's. Same could be said for players. Maybe "not OKC" is where his head's at. Maybe he wants to play off the ball more, regardless of whether that's a good idea or not. Who knows?
 

nighthob

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C'mon, we all know that the Barrett/Westbrook Knicks are destined to be.
 

DrewDawg

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That would be awesome, but I don't think they can get there right now. Not enough salary to send back.
 

RedOctober3829

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Forget how contractually it would work, would Kemba/Russ be a basketball fit? I sort of think Kemba could play off the ball, but I think Russ is so ball-dominant that it would be a Kyrie situation all over again.
 

BigSoxFan

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Forget how contractually it would work, would Kemba/Russ be a basketball fit? I sort of think Kemba could play off the ball, but I think Russ is so ball-dominant that it would be a Kyrie situation all over again.
Hayward/Yabu would get you the salaries you’d need so the Celtics could pull it off pretty easily. But I don’t see how a lineup or Westbrook/Walker/Brown/Tatum could possibly work.