Can Russell Westbrook reignite the motor Pistons are missing?

OKC Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons and Russell Westbrook of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

First Trade Scenario:

The Pistons are in a good spot salary wise in order to make a deal with OKC work given Westbrooks immense contract. Reggie Jackson, Langston Galloway and Thon Makers contracts are all expiring this season, which in total adds up to around $29 million dollars in space that can be cleared by next season by letting them walk.

OKC Perspective:

In this scenario, Oklahoma City will be receiving the expiring deals of  Reggie Jackson, Langston Galloway, and Thon Maker as well as a promising young forward in Sekou Doumbouya.

I also pondered between the idea of Detroit sending over a first round pick, whether it be protected or unprotected. I don’t know what these GMs are thinking but it’s possible OKC might have to attach a smaller asset in order for the Pistons to include a pick.

With the bad blood in place between Jackson and the Oklahoma City fanbase, as well as players like Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook, in this scenario I would expect Presti to try to waive/trade Jackson as soon as he could and give his expected minutes to Galloway, who is a solid but not great backup guard in the NBA. It would be quite funny for this beef to come full circle and have the two (Jackson and Westbrook) be traded for each other.

After being hyped up for his infamous and viral mixtapes when he was a teenager, Thon Maker has yet to find his footing in the NBA. Coming into the league he was advertised as a 7’1 big man who could hit the 3-point shot, block shots with ease as well as occasionally handle the ball.

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It’s fair to call him a massive disappointment so far in his NBA career (and that’s not all his fault, as he should never have been picked that high), Thon has a career line of 4.6/2.8/0.6 on 42/33/68 shooting splits.

While he does average around 2 blocks per 36 according to Basketball Reference, his shot blocking is mainly attributed to his sheer size rather than his defensive instincts, as he really struggles in the mental aspect of playing basketball, both offensively and defensively.

Last but not least is Sekou Doumbouya, who was recently selected 15th overall by the Pistons in Junes NBA draft.

Doumbouya is a 6’9 forward who also is one of the youngest players in the league (Born December 23rd, 2000) and has drawn quite a few comparisons to Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, due to his length and potential playmaking ability. However, Sekou is much rawer than Siakam was when he entered the NBA, and he lacks the defensive ability Pascal showed during his time at New Mexico State.

Sekou likely would not play much if at all for OKC this upcoming season if they acquired him as he’s still very raw, but if he develops he could become the ideal forward that teams are coveting in today’s NBA.

In addition to the young player in the deal, OKC will be shedding significant salary with this move, assuming they don’t resign any of Jackson/Maker/Galloway, putting them officially under the luxury tax for the first time in years. While it would definitely hurt letting Westbrook go, pairing him with his friend Blake Griffin in Detroit is not the worst idea in the world.