Paul George posted a farewell Instagram post to the Oklahoma City Thunder and made it a point to give Russell Westbrook a shoutout on the way out. Westbrook was tagged in the post and was one of the first people to comment.
“You already know what it is @russwest44! Love brodie!” George noted at the end of his Instagram post.
Westbrook responded with the same phrase after George’s heartfelt message.
“Love Brodie!! You know what it is! ??,” Westbrook told George on Instagram.
George heads to the Clippers amidst rumors that Westbrook could be the next Thunder star traded. There was speculation that the two All-Stars may not have gotten along, but ESPN’s Royce Young reported that the two have a strong relationship.
George’s request appears to have had more to do with wanting to play in Los Angeles with Kawhi Leonard than it did anything with Westbrook. George described his time in Oklahoma City as a “bond that can’t be broken.”
Thank you Oklahoma for 2 great years, you took me in as one of your own from the day I touched down. Thank you to the fans who make representing those 3 letters mean something. Thank you to Sam and Clay for being the best management a franchise and player could ask for. Thank you to the friends within the organization that took care of my family and I whenever we needed help. The picture shown is a bond that can’t be broken I truly loved and enjoyed the race from start to finish. Thank you OKLAHOMA! You already know what it is @russwest44! Love brodie!
ESPN Reported That Westbrook & George’s Relationship Was “Strong Throughout”
All signs point to George and Westbrook remaining close despite his trade request. Young described their relationship as “strong,” and noted Westbrook was not the reason for the trade.
Westbrook and George’s relationship was strong throughout, and there was no falling out that precluded the trade request, according to sources. George played the best basketball of his career last season, blossoming into a dual candidate for both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year.
It remains to be seen how Westbrook will respond given the latest trade rumors. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that a trade package of George and Westbrook had been discussed with the Raptors. Wojnarowski also reported that Westbrook was exploring the “possibility of a trade” with Thunder GM Sam Presti.
Oklahoma City All-Star guard Russell Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, are engaged with Thunder general manager Sam Presti about the next steps of Westbrook’s career, including the possibility of a trade before the start of next season, league sources told ESPN.
The challenge for the Thunder is receiving equal value given Westbrook’s contract. Westbrook is about to enter the second season of a five-year, $206 million deal, per Spotrac. Westbrook’s salary escalates each season and the point guard will make $47 million during the 2022-23 season in the final year of his deal.