The “Not Happening, Unintentional Comedy” Trade Destinations
There are several teams that simply won’t be able to pull off a trade for Russ, so let’s delve into each team and explore why a move seems unlikely.
The Oklahoma City Thunder
Why it won’t happen: Part of what makes Russell Westbrook a joy to watch is his all-encompassing ferocity. He is a player who elicits hallucinatory images of flames engulfing his body as he hurls like a world-destroying asteroid across the court.
Believing Westbrook’s playing style is akin to his personality is unfair, but he does seem apt to burn a bridge. The reality is, after a blockbuster trade last summer, a trade back is almost unfathomable. Then again, no one ever thought Kevin Garnett would be in a good movie with Adam Sandler, so you know, anything is possible.
The Washington Wizards
Why it could happen: John Wall has a salary to match.
Why it won’t happen: John Wall is a younger, less-talented, more-injured version of Westbrook at essentially the same cost. The Rockets don’t want John Wall and the Wizards wouldn’t move Bradley Beal. Just imagine a backcourt of Wall and Westbrook.
The Brooklyn Nets
Why it could happen: The Nets might actually want a guy like Westbrook. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant can both be effective as off-ball floor spacers.
Why it won’t happen: Westbrook and KD — are they on good terms now? Do the Nets have the necessary salary cap room? Imagine a Durant and Westbrook reunion with Kyrie Irving. Unless VH1 takes over the Nets, no one wants that drama.
Why it could happen: Westbrook could watch Hoosiers and demand a trade.
Why it won’t happen: To keep it short, the Pacers’ two best players are Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. They both blossomed after leaving Oklahoma City and Russell Westbrook. Those guys are both good and young.
Golden State Warriors
Why it could happen: Andrew Wiggins has a salary to match.
Why it won’t happen: Andrew Wiggins has a salary to match.
Why it could happen: The Timberwolves might want to jumpstart their rebuild by bringing in a veteran superstar who can teach the kids how to be professionals again.
Why it won’t happen: The T-Wolves are on a different timeline than Westbrook and just made their franchise player happy by bringing in his buddy D’Angelo Russell. Adding Russell Westbrook to a team that couldn’t handle Jimmy Butler seems like the type of idea a team that has made the playoffs once since 2004 thinks is good.
Next: Slim-chance destinations