With reports circulating that Russell Westbrook wants out of the Houston Rockets to once again be the undisputed floor-general of a team, here are five potential landing places for the 2016-17 MVP.
Although the Houston Rockets have had an eventful offseason, they received recent news that’s made it even worse. According to The Athletic, Rockets guard Russell Westbrook wants a move out of Houston.
This is on the heels of reports that James Harden and Westbrook are both uneasy with the direction of the franchise. Concern among Rockets fans is at an all-time high but Westbrook asking to be traded could be a blessing in disguise.
The truth is, Russell Westbrook is not what he used to be. He is still a very good NBA player but his play has dipped to the point where his salary starts to become a problem. In the report out of The Athletic, it is believed that Westbrook wants to go to a team where he can be a floor general, similar to his role in Oklahoma City.
The Rockets should do right by Westbrook and find a trade partner where Westbrook can thrive as the team’s undisputed lead ball handler. However, this dramatically shrinks the number of realistic suitors, as point-guard is one of the deepest positions in the league, especially among contenders.
Looking at every playoff team only a few have a real need for a primary ball-handler: the Bucks, Pacers, Magic, and Clippers. Unfortunately, the chances that any of these teams get involved in a Westbrook trade are very slim.
The Bucks covet 3-point shooting to create space for Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Pacers are notoriously frugal, and the Clippers have few assets. Of the playoff teams, only the Magic have a real need and avenue to get Westbrook.
However, if Westbrook wants out and wants to be the man, there are plenty of landing spots that would love to have him. None of them is a player away from championship contention but all would become serious playoff threats if Westbrook came to town.
The Rockets need to get every last asset back for Westbrook to restock their coffers after sending out three first-round picks this past season. With trade speculation mounting, let’s take a look at five landing spots for Russell Westbrook.
Next: Number 5