The moment Kawhi Leonard orchestrated the greatest Coup d’état since Hall, Nash and Hogan, by luring Paul George to Clip Nation, speculation immediately began that Russell Westbrook would look for an exit from OKC as well.
Westbrook, who will be 31 in November, knows his best playing days are numbered and Oklahoma City won’t be contending for anything beyond a local chili cook-off.
George’s departure signaled the end of OKC’s potential rebuild and run to a championship and now Westbrook welcomes the idea of general manager Sam Presti engineering a trade that would bring an end to his 11-year career with the franchise.
The Miami Heat have expressed interest, a potential destination that also appeals to Westbrook.
Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, have been discussing trade possibilities and scenarios with Presti, and the sides are both motivated to make a trade immediately.
For the Heat to make the deal work, things are more complicated than just the sheer personality mismatches of these two superstars on the hardwood. For starters, OKC owns a couple Heat picks including the MIA 2021 first round pick, so on one hand they are in the business of the Heat being bad, and adding Westbrook to that team might hurt where that ends up.
The Heat however do have a combination of contracts to make the money work which isn’t exactly easy given what Westbrook is set to make $38.5 mil in 2019-20.
If the Heat do get the deal done however, it creates a mouthwatering scenerio for high drama in South Beach.
How will Erik Spoelstra manage the personalities of Jimmy Bulter and Russ? Will he just get out of the way and continue to coast on the success of the big 3 from six years ago?