It appears Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is going to add a bit of fuel to the fire surrounding trade rumors linking him to the Miami Heat. Although the Heat has emerged as a top candidate to acquire Westbrook, there hasn’t been a ton of news revealed to this point about a potential deal.
Regardless, Westbrook is open to a deal and seems to like the idea of winding up in Miami. If previous reports and rumors weren’t enough proof, as Bleacher Report revealed, Westbrook liked a photo of him wearing a Heat jersey.
As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported previously (courtesy of Tim MacMahon), Westbrook and his agent spoke with Thunder general manager Sam Presti about his future. This conversation reportedly put a potential trade prior to the 2019-20 season on the table as an option.
But going beyond that, Wojnarowski also reported that the potential to land with Miami “appeals” to Westbrook. This created a situation where the trade chatter involving the Thunder, Heat and Westbrook quickly escalated to another level.
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Heat Prefer Not to Trade Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo [Report]
While it’s likely that Pat Riley and company would be willing to go to great lengths to swing a deal for Westbrook, there does appear to be some limitations on what the Heat will give up. As Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported, the two sides have been discussing potential deals, but the Heat would prefer to keep both Bam Adebayo and rookie Tyler Herro.
The Heat and Thunder have been discussing potential combinations of players, and those specifics remain unknown. But indications are the Heat would prefer not to include Bam Adebayo or Herro.
Along with the initial conversations which appear to be going on between the Thunder and Heat for Westbrook, there has also been chatter of a third team getting involved. This almost certainly has to do with the salary cap situation and size of Westbrook’s contract.
Cavaliers the 3rd Team in Heat Trade for Westbrook?
Whether or not a third team does wind up in the conversation remains to be seen. But according to Heat reporter Greg Sylvander, talks have gone “beyond exploratory phases” and the Cleveland Cavaliers are mentioned as a possible option to jump into the mix.
Westbrook’s name has been linked to a number of teams in some fashion, but none on the level of what we’ve seen with the Heat. Miami appears poised to make a strong run at the Thunder star in an effort to pair him up with Jimmy Butler while setting themselves up to be one of the Eastern Conference’s top contenders.
It now becomes a waiting game to see how quickly a potential trade to send Westbrook to South Beach comes together. There’s also an obvious reason to believe that other teams could jump into the mix also, which could make this a major situation to monitor moving forward.