- BetOnline is now offering odds that guard Russell Westbook will still be with the Oklahoma City Thunder to start the 2019-20 NBA season
- Rumors began circulating that Westbrook would be traded shortly after the Thunder dealt forward Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers
- If there is a trade, the New York Knicks are given the best odds of acquiring the former NBA MVP
Just when you thought the dust was about to settle on the frenzy of the NBA’s summer silly season, here come the Russell Westbrook sweepstakes.
Within hours of news breaking on the weekend that the Oklahoma City Thunder had dealt foward Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, the rumor mill began churning out speculation that guard Westbrook would also be rustled out of the OKC corral.
It’s a few days later and Westbrook remains with the Thunder. BetOnline thinks that will remain the case when the 2019-20 NBA season gets underway in the fall.
The sportsbook is offering odds that favor Westbrook opening the regular season on the Oklahoma City roster.
What Team Will Russell Westbrook Be With to Start the 2019-20 Season?
|What Team Will Westbrook Be On?||Odds at BetOnline|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||+175|
|New York Knicks||+200|
*Odds taken 07/08/19
Westbrook, 30, has played his entire 11-season NBA career with the Thunder.
Westbrook Headed East?
Westbrook’s name has been linked to several NBA teams since the trade talk began on Saturday. Eastern Conference teams figure the most prominently in the rumors.
Russell Westbrook had Paul George, who was 3rd in MVP voting … and the Thunder exited in the first round. What makes everyone so sure that if he joins the #Pistons, that it'll CERTAINLY change their outlook?
— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) July 7, 2019
If he’s going to get dealt, that makes the most sense. Why would the Thunder want to help another Western Conference team get better than them? They’ve already done that by moving George to the Clippers.
It’s been confirmed that Thunder GM Sam Presti met with Westbrook and his representatives to discuss the matter of a potential trade involving Westbrook.
In The Short Term, Staying Put Has Merit
George put a gun to the head of Thunder management when he demanded a trade to the Clippers. It would be folly for the team to just blow it all up in the summer and take what they can get for Westbrook.
With Paul George heading to the Clippers, @WojESPN reports the Thunder are talking to Russell Westbrook about trade scenarios. Ex-teammate @KendrickPerkins thinks Russ should go to the Heat, but does Miami want that contract? (Russ will earn $47.1 million the year he turns 34) pic.twitter.com/RokceRs7A6
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) July 6, 2019
By hanging on to him until the NBA trade deadline, the chances increase of getting a better package in return from a team desperately fighting for a playoff spot.
The Heat Is On
The Knicks are given the best odds of acquiring Westbrook, but that doesn’t add up. There’s another team where he’d be a much better fit.
I am hearing that @russwest44 to Miami has legs … sturdy ones. But gotta make the money work, and that will not be easy.
— Chris Sheridan (@sheridanhoops) July 7, 2019
The Miami Heat already added forward Jimmy Butler this summer. Putting Westbrook on the floor with Butler not only gives the Heat added star power, it makes them a legitimate playoff team.
Update: I’ve been working diligently as an outside representative for the Miami Heat in this recruiting process, due to my minimal basketball background I’m relying on personal friendships to persuade @russwest44 & @RealDealBeal23 to come home.
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) July 8, 2019
But Miami will need time to clear cap space to enable the All-Star guard’s enormous contract to fit, so a deal later into the 2019-20 season makes more sense.
Expect Westbrook to begin next season with the Thunder and at some point during the campaign, to be taking his talents to South Beach.
Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder (+175)
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