Russell Westbrook and James Harden

USA Today

Russ Westbrook Is On The Trade Block

There is absolutely no way that OKC is keeping him.

July 09, 2019 - 11:43 am

From the moment Paul George was traded to the Clippers, the Oklahoma City Thunder were on the clock. Not on the draft clock for their massive haul of picks, but on the Russell Westbrook trade clock.

Because there is absolutely no way that they are keeping him. I know what he means to that team and to that city, but keeping him makes no sense.

Not when everything about them is about collecting first round picks for the future. And not when they owe him 171 million for the next four seasons. That’s right, 171 million for the next four seasons, including a player option of 47 mill in the 22-23 season.

On the surface, it would seem to make absolutely no sense to trade James Harden, Paul George and Russell Westbrook within years of each other. But at the same time, once you’ve traded Paul George, what’s the point in keeping a soon-to-be 31-year-old Russell Westbrook around?

So you can watch him average a triple-double next season on a team that will get knocked out in the first round?

That is why is was absolutely no shock at all to see this tweet from Woj: Story filed to ESPN: In aftermath of Paul George’s departure, OKC star Russell Westbrook is welcoming to idea of Sam Presti engineering a trade that would bring an end to his illustrious 11-year Thunder tenure. Miami's expressed interest, a destination that appeals to Westbrook.

And that is a destination that appeals to Rome as well.

Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook on the same team? In the same locker room? That would either be the greatest combo ever or the worst combo ever, and either way, it would be awesome.

And this isn’t just smoke. According to the report, Westbrook and his agent are talking with the Thunder about the different options when it comes to ending his time there. And Miami is definitely in the cards. Westbrook is interested in going there and the Heat are interested in having him.

And I am interested in doing whatever I can to facilitate that move.

And I know what you’re thinking. Hey Rome, you don’t root, so why are you rooting so hard for Russ to go to Miami? What about Detroit, which has also been a suggested landing spot. What do you have against the Pistons?

I have absolutely nothing against the Pistons. Dwane Casey is one of my favorite coaches in the league.

But this runs deeper than that.

When Jimmy Butler went to the Heat, I feel like the world missed out on an opportunity. Putting Jimmy Butler and his passion into that cauldron in Houston with Chris Paul and James Harden would’ve been awesome. Give me an A or give me an F and that definitely would’ve been one of the two.

That would either be a home run or a strikeout. There weren’t going to be any doubles there. So when that didn’t happen and Butler ended up taking his talents to South Beach, we all lost.

But the possibility of Butler and Westbrook together in Miami? That is awesome. That redeems Butler going to Miami.

Sign me up for that . Because they could be exactly what each other needs. A guy who is passionate, fired up, speaks his mind, and battles.

Or they could be exactly what the other guy doesn’t need – a guy who is passionate, fired up, speaks his mind, and battles. 

If those two got on a roll, look the hell out. And if those two hit a losing streak, look the hell out.

I could not love that idea any more than I do. Except there is one idea that I love even more. And I love it so much that I don’t even want to talk about it. I don’t even want to think about it.

I don’t want to jinx it and then have it not happen. This feels like talking during a no-hitter, but you know what, I’m going to do it. I’m going to attempt to speak it into existence.

The only thing better than Russell Westbrook teaming up with Jimmy Butler in Miami is Russell Westbrook teaming up with Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston. And according to reports, that might be a possibility as well.

There is the obvious salary issue, but if anyone can figure that out, it’s Daryl Morey.

Can you imagine Beard, CP3, and Russ together? If CP3 is getting bent about how the Beard plays, can you imagine what he would do with Russ? With Russ AND the Beard?   I can imagine that and it sounds like the best thing ever. 

If it’s not that, I know it’s the best thing ever for the Rockets. The Clippers just added two MVP candidates. The Lakers have two of their own. This is an arms race in the West and you know Morey isn’t going to back down from that.

I don’t know if Russ, James, and Chris beats LeBron and AD or Kawhi and PG, but I know that I want to see Houston try it.

Because it will either work and end with a victory parade or fail and end with a smoking crater. Either way, it works. And the only thing better than sticking Russ in the same locker room with Jimmy Butler, is sticking him in the same locker room with CP 3 and the Beard. Truth is, not only do I want that, I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted anything as much as I want that. And if anyone can make that happen, it’s Darryl Morey: time to go to work D! Time to do some work!