NBA Rumors: OKC trading Russell Westbrook to Spurs for Kawhi Leonard?
Russell Westbrook has been a hot topic in many NBA rumors since the departure of Kevin Durant from Oklahoma City. Thunder general manager, Sam Presti, reportedly discussed possible Westbrook trades with several teams last week including the San Antonio Spurs.
According to Adam Joseph of SB Nation, the Thunder discussed teams such as the Spurs, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. However, there were no follow-up negotiations between Presti and the teams involved.
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per sources, Presti discussed Westbrook deals with several different teams (inc. SAS, MIL, LAL, BOS), but no middle ground was found.
— Adam Joseph (@AdamJosephSport) July 21, 2016
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Brayden Neubauer of Pounding The Rock noted in his report that Presti wanted Kawhi Leonard from the Spurs in exchange for Russell Westbrook. It is not a lopsided deal for both teams considering Leonard and Westbrook are two of the top five players in the NBA today.
However, Neubauer thinks that it will be too much of a risk for San Antonio since they have to let go of the “face of the franchise.” Leonard’s departure will also leave a big hole to fill in the small forward position and his contract is a bargain.
On the other hand, Westbrook is set to become a free agent after next season and he will likely test the market. The Spurs will never pull the trigger on a trade for him especially if he does not want to sign an extension.
San Antonio can also wait for the summer of 2017 when Westbrook will likely become a free agent and they might be able to convince him to become a Spur. The team is still playoff contender but adding Westbrook will make them favorites to win the title.
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According to Royce Young of Real GM, Russell Westbrook has no plans to demand a trade from the Thunder. However, the 27-year-old point guard is unsure if he will stay and re-sign a new contract after the 2016-17 season.
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