Thursday’s trade of the day: Russell Westbrook
Starting this week, Thunderous Intentions will post a hypothetical trade every Thursday. Sometimes they will be out of this world; other times they will be serious and realistic ways to help the franchise.
Welcome to the first edition of Thursday’s trade of the day!!! We’re going to have some fun with this. It’s the perfect week to begin the series because of the recent rumors of a Russell Westbrook trade; we’re going to look at ESPN’s trade machine to break down a few potential options.
We’ve heard the rumors. Boston is one more superstar away from being a title contender, and they have the assets to bring another guy in. The Celtics struck out on Kevin Durant, so why not go after the Thunder’s other superstar?
This trade is a match made in heaven for both franchises. Boston gets their superstar, and the Thunder immediately set themselves up for a bright future. The key here is the Brooklyn Nets first-round pick. The Nets are going to be BAD. Like really bad. A top three pick is not out of the question, and there are three studs in next year’s draft: Markelle Fultz, Harry Giles and Josh Jackson. OKC won’t be competing for the playoffs at that point, so a potential top three lottery pick in a loaded draft means Sam Presti and Co. can find the next Thunder great.
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Avery Bradley will be a perfect piece to help build a culture in the locker room. The combination of Bradley with Victor Oladipo and Steven Adams will help create an environment focused on hard-nosed defense. All those guys are incredibly young, but they are hungry just like KD and Russ were when they were 23.
Amir Johnson is merely thrown in for the financial aspects of the trade, but he comes off the books next year. That way the Thunder will have more than enough cap space to bring back their trio of restricted free agents: Adams, Oladipo and Andre Roberson.
Than you throw in Terry Rozier, a second-year player out of Louisville. There’s yet another young, cheap guard who can backup Cameron Payne as he takes over the void left by Westbrook.
I know. Losing Westbrook and Durant in the same month would hurt. But looking toward the future, it’s a move Sam Presti has to make if he has no guarantee that Westbrook is coming back. Losing two top-five players in the NBA with nothing in return could set back the franchise two or three years; making a trade along these terms could make them the young, darlings of the league a la 2012.
Never forget: #inprestiwetrust.