According to Howard Beck of bleacherreport.com, the Oklahoma City Thunder are looking to trade point guard Russell Westbrook and the Boston Celtics are, “the most likely destination,” for him to land.
The Celtics recently lost out on the Kevin Durant sweepstakes when he opted to sign with the Golden State Warriors on July 4th, but now it looks like Danny Ainge is trying to acquire the other superstar player from OKC and bring him in to the current crop of C’s players, including newly signed big man Al Horford.
Oklahoma City obviously lost a huge part of their team when Durant left town and with only one year remaining on his contract, Thunder management must figure they should ship Westbrook off now and get something for him, instead of letting him enter free agency next summer where he could potentially leave for nothing.
The C’s are in prime position to deal for Westbrook because of the plethora of valuable trade-chips they have including young players like Avery Bradley or Marcus Smart, any of the six selections from this years draft, and most notably, the remaining Brooklyn Nets picks that project to be high lottery selections once again.
Adding Westbrook to this Celtics squad would make them the runaway favorites as the one team that could challenge the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference, as well as an instantly more exciting team due to Westbrook’s electric, sometimes over-the-top, style of play.
One thing to keep in mind is since this will be Westbrook’s contract year, there is no guarantee he will resign next summer when his deal expires. This could affect the value of a potential trade for Westbrook in which Ainge uses this as leverage so he doesn’t have to give up as much to get him.
No matter what may happen these next few weeks, the Celtics are clearly showing they aren’t messing around this offseason and are serious about winning a title within the next few years. Although Westbrook might not put them over the top, they’ll be much closer to glory than most and will be one fun team to watch next season.