After just one season in Houston, Russell Westbrook reportedly wants out. The Rockets will likely grant his trade request soon. Here are potential trade destinations for Russell Westbrook.
1. Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets seem to be the most interested team so far. They could give up a mixture of draft picks and young players to get the Rockets to give up Westbrook. Whether Houston is looking to build for the future or for impact players now, like Devonte Graham, the Hornets could be a match.
While Westbrook is likely looking to go to a contender to win an NBA Championship, there are some factors that could make him want to go to Charlotte. Westbrook is a Jordan-brand athlete and has built up a relationship with team owner Michael Jordan. Westbrook and Jordan could work together to bring winning basketball to Charlotte.
2. Los Angeles Clippers
It was last offseason that the Clippers acquired both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Since that point, head coach Doc Rivers has been fired. There is reported friction between George and Leonard after they didn’t make the Western Conference Finals in the NBA Bubble. Now there are reports that the Clippers may be in the market for Westbrook.
The Clippers are trying to win now and it doesn’t look like the combination of George and Leonard fits well enough to get the job done. George could be traded to Houston with Westbrook being traded back to his home in Los Angeles. Both teams may be better off with the swap, but the Rockets would likely have to give up a little more than just Westbrook to get the deal done.
3. New York Knicks
The Knicks have been desperate for a point guard for years. They have also been desperate for a championship. With their current guards, they won’t pose much of a threat in today’s NBA. If New York wants a chance to win in the next few seasons, they should trade for Westbrook.
New York could send the Rockets draft capital and some big men if Houston decides to ditch the small-ball strategy they tried last season. That seems like something that could be likely, being that all of the team leadership that was there last year is now gone. Westbrook may need to lure some free agents to New York to help them win, but that shouldn’t be too hard.
4. Miami Heat
Miami got to the NBA Championship, but they couldn’t defeat the Lakers. One thing that held them back was the fact that Goran Dragic was banged up. He has been a starter and a reserve, but he is entering the end of his career. The Heat ran the offense through Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, but they may want to acquire a true point guard.
The Heat have plenty of young players that they don’t have enough minutes for. Kendrick Nunn had a great rookie year, but he didn’t see many minutes in the playoffs. If they aren’t going to give Nunn minutes they can trade him and picks for Westbrook.
5. Phoenix Suns
It has been reported that Devin Booker wants out of Phoenix. The management could lure him to stay with the team if they got him some help. Phoenix could not only lure Booker to stay long term, but they could get a leader in Westbrook, who has experience in the playoffs.
The Suns are another team that has young players and draft picks to offer Houston. If Houston wants to put young players around James Harden, or if they want to rebuild if Harden still wants to leave too, they can fulfill their needs by trading with the Suns.
Go to our NBA page for more articles and updates!