NBA Trade Rumors: Clippers, Knicks eyeing Russell Westbrook?
The latest word around the NBA water cooler is that two big-market teams have shown interest in a potential trade for Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook. These teams reside in New York and Los Angeles respectively, according to a report by Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer.
With the Knicks, their fans have come to expect this type of move. It has been reported during this shortened offseason that the Knicks are willing to take on bad contracts via trade for assets. Westbrook is scheduled to make $41.3 million for the 2020-21 season, with another two years remaining on his deal after that, at $44 and $47 million per season.
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The Knicks, meanwhile, are looking for relevancy and are not expected to be in any position to truly compete to win anytime soon. Adding Westbrook to that roster could potentially stunt the development of young emerging stars like RJ Barrett, but if you’re the Knicks and you haven’t done much of anything over the past 20 years that may just be a risk you’re willing to take.
With Westbrook at the helm of the Knicks and in the Eastern Conference, they could be at the very least competitive. As a Knicks fan isn’t that all you’re really hoping for at this point?
If you’re the Clippers and you are seriously thinking of trading for Russell Westbrook, then you’ve probably lost your mind altogether if you think he is the answer to correcting all the wrongs of the Orlando bubble.
Two things we know about the Clippers 1) Yes, they desperately need a starting point guard that is a threat offensively. 2) It has been reported that Kawhi Leonard has expressed the need for that exact type of point guard.
But without knowing this for certain, odds are Westbrook is not the guy Leonard had in mind. Or maybe he did? Who knows, right?
Fans love a good triple-double and Westbrook has mastered the art of the triple-double during his career but if we’re being honest, he hasn’t sniffed even the Conference Finals since Kevin Durant dropped him like a sack of potatoes and jetted to the west coast back in 2016. Again, let’s stick with honesty here. Westbrook’s style of play is not favorable to winning an NBA championship.
While Westbrook is a great player, his style is similar in ways to that of LeBron James. A smaller, less efficient, lower shooting percentage version of LeBron. He’s super athletic with the heart of a lion but can’t shoot a lick. Westbrook is too small to truly dominate games against the elite teams in the league consistently.
The Clippers need a point guard to come in and help them get their offense moving and into a rhythm to help take some pressure off Kawhi Leonard, so he isn’t asked to do so much offensively. That sounds nothing like Westbrook and does not sound like a good trade for the Clippers to get involved with in any way shape or form.
It doesn’t matter who they have to trade for Westbrook, the Clippers should stay far away from any trade of the sort.
While we’ve entered this accelerated NBA offseason, it will be interesting to see what the Clippers and other teams can cook up in hopes of improving their chances of dethroning the king and his men in 2021.