The news broke late last night that Russell Westbrook has requested a trade from the Houston Rockets. While he seemed to have a pretty close relationship with teammate James Harden, both of them have become unhappy with the front office and the current direction of the team’s future. While James Harden has remained committed to this Rockets team for the near future, it is safe to wonder how many contending years they have left and how will they be able to stay competitive in a very tough western conference. Many teams could use the assistance of Russell Westbrook who plays as hard as anyone in the league and is a tremendous athlete.
New York Knicks
I know what you all are thinking, why would anyone want to go to the Knicks, but this may be beneficial for both parties for reasons other than simply basketball. The Knicks have struggled to stay relevant in the media capital of the world, New York City. One reason for this is because of the lack of star power on the roster. If Russ gets traded there, they would instantly become relevant again; people would think of the Knicks and think of Russell Westbrook.
There are also rumors that he wants to lead his own team again. The Knicks would be the best possible solution for him to achieve that. While they may not be the most talented roster, he would have a chance to lead his own team again while helping develop all the young talent they have on that team.
Wouldn’t a Russ and Joel Embiid duo be must-see TV? I believe so. The Sixers just got a new head coach in Doc Rivers, and they have a new GM in former Rockets GM Daryl Morey. Since the day both of them have arrived, there have been trade rumors with basically everyone on the Sixers roster. Ben Simmons has been involved in most of these rumors.
Is it possible that a Simmons and Westbrook swap could be coming soon? The pairs of Russ/Embiid and Simmons/Harden could be very interesting and could bring out the best in all four of these players. A straight-up swap seems very unlikely at the moment; however, stranger things have happened in this league. If either one of these teams wants to make a splash and get over the hump, maybe this is a trade they consider pulling off.
The Heat is coming off of a very impressive bubble and lost in the finals 4-2 to the Lakers. The future of point guard Goran Dragic is still very up in the air. If the Heat can produce a trade that would land Russ in Miami, he and Butler could be a very deadly duo who both have that killer instinct and drive to outplay everyone on the court at all times. Many people would be skeptical of how these two would co-exist, but I believe this would work out very well.
Russ has never had a teammate with the same drive, determination, and attitude as him, but this could be the first time for him. Jimmy Butler gave everything he had in the bubble, and if he had another star next to him to help him, maybe things could improve in a big way for the Heat. This would be a very interesting move and would put the Heat right at the top of the east with all of the other contenders.
Other teams could be in the mix for Russell Westbrook. Teams like the Magic, the Spurs, and others could create a decent trade assuming the draft picks will be put into that deal as well.
The NBA is a crazy league and players can be moved at any time. Russ should be a great leader and a great addition to any team he ends up going to. In my opinion, he will be dealt with a team where there is less star power rather than a destination like the Lakers or the Clippers. This will be a very good thing for Russ who can get back to his old ways of scoring at will and being able to dish out assists whenever he needs to. It should be interesting to see where Russ ends up in the coming days.