2019 Free Agency
Report: Russell Westbrook, Thunder in discussions about star's future with franchise
With Paul George reportedly headed to L.A., the Oklahoma City Thunder are now in discussions with Russell Westbrook about the star point guard’s future with the franchise.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Westbrook and his agent are in talks with GM Sam Presti about the next steps, which could include a trade this summer. Westbrook is welcoming to the idea of a trade and the Miami Heat have expressed interest in him, which is a destination that appeals to Westbrook, Wojnarowski writes.
With George seemingly headed out of town, Westbrook wants to play for a team thought to be a title-contender, Wojnarowski writes. The All-Star guard will turn 31 next season and still has an affinity for OKlahoma City, but the Thunder falling out of contention made the idea of playing elsewhere more palatable, Wojnarowski reports.
The team reportedly is “receptive” to trade discussions involving Westbrook for the first time, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
This is based upon relationships on all sides — Russell Westbrook, agent Thad Foucher and GM Sam Presti — and collaborating together and examining alternative solutions. Trade timing is challenging this late in the summer due to salaries frozen across NBA from free-agent deals. https://t.co/L0ABYFwAfH
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2019
According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, the Rockets are among the teams interested in adding Westbrook. But it may be difficult due to salary cap limitations. Westbrook has four years and $170 million left on his contract.
Westbrook has spent his entire 11-year career in Oklahoma City, averaging 23.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 8.4 assists while winning the Kia MVP Award in 2017.