Kevin Durant’s departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder shook the basketball world. Though some thought it may happen, it was still incredible to see one the greatest players in the NBA join one of the most explosive teams in NBA history. With one move, Kevin Durant turned the already potent Golden State Warriors into a powerhouse force that has the league terrified and essentially sunk the prospects of the Oklahoma City Thunder who must now wonder if they will also get no value from their remaining star Russell Westbrook should he decide to part for free agency next season. Right now, Oklahoma City has to be thinking that they’d rather trade Westbrook now then watch that happen.
That’s where the rest of the league comes in. There is no team that wouldn’t gladly add the dynamic Russell Westbrook to their roster and call it a big win, but there are only a few teams that could conceivably make it happen. Though Oklahoma City can expect to field a lot of calls over the next few weeks concerning the future of Westbrook, these are the 15 teams that could actually make that blockbuster trade happen.
15 Philadelphia 76ers
14 Los Angeles Clippers
Chris Paul. You can’t have a conversation about the prospect of Westbrook going to the Clippers without the slight issue of Chris Paul coming. It’s highly unlikely that the Clippers would ever want to make a Chris Paul for Westbrook trade as it’s a largely lateral move that would arguably have no real long-term benefit for either team, meaning that somehow these two would need to play together. If that were to happen (which would likely involve Westbrook sliding into a new position) then the reason that the Clippers are such an intriguing prospect for Westbrook is because of Blake Griffin.
13 New York Knicks
12 Brooklyn Nets
New York City’s other basketball team (just kidding Brooklyn, you know we love you) are an exciting possibility in the Westbrook trade talks. Earlier this year, there were talks about Durant going Brooklyn-bound before that whole Golden State Voltron super team thing happened, and the situation that would have possibly attracted him to the Nets remains largely the same for Westbrook. As always, the biggest appeal of the Nets remains their market which Westbrook would no doubt fall in love with considering that he’s spent his professional career in Oklahoma City thus far.
11 Houston Rockets
10 Utah Jazz
9 Washington Wizards
8 New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans can’t look at Westbrook and not see the perfect companion piece to their Buddy Hield and Anthony Davis combo. Though not the most high-profile trio ever assembled, Westbrook would easily slide into what is looking to be one of the deadliest combinations in the league. Unlike other high-profile teams that would need to squeeze Westbrook into the roster so awkwardly that they would be defeating the purpose of him being there in the first place, New Orleans must see the potential here. Oklahoma City is the real question mark.
7 Minnesota Timberwolves
6 Miami Heat
5 Chicago Bulls
We now enter the portion of this list known as the “hired gun” section. These are the teams that could not only conceivably land the services of Westbrook, but could use him to win a championship this coming season. First up are the Chicago Bulls. Remember all that talk about how Miami fans shouldn’t be too sad that Dwyane Wade left given that his contributions to that franchise were waning? That’s not necessarily true of the Chicago Bulls which could use Wade’s veteran presence to make a real run for the championship in the Eastern Conference. They have many capable young players on the roster, which is just as good for winning titles as it is for acquiring a guy like Westbrook.
4 Indiana Pacers
3 Cleveland Cavaliers
2 Los Angeles Lakers
1 Boston Celtics
It’s been a rough few years for the Boston Celtics, but that doesn’t mean that their situation is hopeless. While the team’s once mighty empire has faded away into dust, they’ve still managed to assemble an impressive roster of talent (most of which was acquired from the highly lucrative Serge Ibaka trade). They are overflowing with the exact kind of talent that Oklahoma City is going to be begging to build their future around if they do, in fact, believe that Westbrook will not be a member of the team for long. Boston is in a position where they could afford to make several tempting offers to the Thunder because the one thing they really need is a superstar like Westbrook to pull together whatever they may have left and make a real impact this season. If Oklahoma is indeed listening to trade offers, there is no team that can speak louder than the Celtics.
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