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Using the NBA Trade Machine to Get Russell Westbrook Out of Houston
Perhaps the news of Mike D’Antoni wanting out of Houston is a sign for Daryl Morey to blow things up.
Russell Westbrook’s not being paid to simply just be a sidekick, and in fact, he has more than $130 million remaining on his contract. Maybe the best move for Houston is to cut ties now with the goal of stockpiling more talent around James Harden.
It won’t be easy to find a trade partner for “Beastbrook,” but certainly a few organizations out there would be willing to roll the dice. After all, guys who average triple-doubles for three straight seasons don’t exactly grow on trees.
Take a look at 4 possible Russell Westbrook trades using the NBA trade machine.
Ship Westbrook to Chi-Town
The proposed trade not only makes sense financially, but it would enable Chicago to lure in a superstar without trading either of their top-two commodities. Lauri Markkanen has a bright future in this league, while Coby White had exploded in the weeks preceding the regular-season being halted.
Plus, rumors of Zach LaVine being dispatched from the Bulls roster have swirled for many months.
Arturas Karnisovas would love to get Thaddeus Young’s bloated contract off the books, and this gives Houston a chance at a “do-over” after realizing that Westbrook and Harden don’t mesh.
If Marc Eversley is looking to make a splash in his first year serving as Chicago’s GM, striking this deal for Westbrook would qualify as more than just a splatter.
Two Former UCLA Teammates Trade Places
Kevin Love has been more active on Twitter than he has been for the Cavaliers over the past 24 months. The 5x All-Star won’t publicly say that he wants to be dealt from Cleveland, but it’s pretty obvious that Love would “love” to finish his playing days competing for a genuine contender.
Surely what Kevin brings to the table at this stage in his career isn’t enough to entice Daryl Morey, but what if Koby Altman is willing to throw in Darius Garland?
Garland is an exciting prospect who averaged more than 12 points per game last year as a rookie. He’s also a natural point guard who can alleviate pressure from Harden always having to handle the rock.
Of course, this can only go through if the Rockets new lead man isn’t allergic to playing guys taller than 6’7”.
Could Indiana Be a Potential Suitor?
It’s debatable as to whether Indiana played better with or without Victor Oladipo in their lineup. T.J. Warren certainly played well in Orlando, and T.J. Leaf has a nice skillset.
The problem is the Pacers frontcourt is centered around Domas Sabonis and Myles Turner, and it’s the perfect time to sell high on Warren. Acquiring Malcolm Brogdon during the prior offseason allows them to explore moving Oladipo, and it’s pretty clear that the Pacers are missing a true “heart and soul” who can lead them through the trenches.
On top of that, it’s pretty safe to say that the Rockets want nothing to do with Danuel House Jr. after the stunt he pulled in the playoffs.
Danuel House Jr. has left the bubble and won’t return after an NBA investigation— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 11, 2020
The league says House had an unauthorized guest in his hotel room for multiple hours pic.twitter.com/MDrrYdnEEX
A Harden/Oladipo backcourt with the addition of a guy who lit up Disney with 4 30+ point games…that could be tempting for Daryl Morey.
Swap Russell For Blake, Land Derrick Rose Too
Blake Griffin’s lost season in Detroit – combined with the emergence of Christian Wood – means the Pistons could be one of the teams interested in taking on Russell Westbrook’s contract. Remember, Troy Weaver (new Pistons GM) inherits a roster that is set to pay Griffin north of $36 million next season.
The injury-riddled former love interest of Kendall Jenner will make close to $39 million in 2021-22, which figures to hold Detroit back from making any sincere progress.
Here’s a squad that already unloaded Andre Drummond for next to nothing leaving them with a fairly discombobulated rotation. The Pistons own the 7th pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, and it’s pretty evident that both Blake Griffin’s and Derrick Rose’s best days are behind them.
There aren’t many “win-win” scenarios for Houston letting Westbrook walk. However, this could be one of those unique instances.
If you can think of any more possible Russell Westbrook trades that make sense for both parties involved, feel free to fire them in the comment section below.