Kawhi Leonard shocked the NBA world earlier today and will join a Los Angeles Clippers team that also includes Paul George. The Clippers sent four future unprotected picks, two pick swaps and the 2023 protected first-round pick Miami sent to complete the Jimmy Butler trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
ESPN story on the Clippers bombshell acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George: https://t.co/CYnIGPhipn— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 6, 2019
The Oklahoma City Thunder, having failed to get out of the first round since Kevin Durant played for them, have now just traded George and appear to be in full rebuild mode. The moves brings us to the question — should the Heat trade for Russell Westbrook?
Nate Scott of USA Today thinks so.
In an article, Scott says that Miami should trade Goran Dragic, Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo and draft picks for Westbrook. He says a team with Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook could either “go to the Eastern Conference Finals or by dead by each other’s hand.”
First of all, the Heat have already traded their 2021 and 2023 first-round draft picks. Teams cannot trade first-round picks in consecutive years, so Miami cannot trade their 2020 or 2022 picks. If Presti wants to add more first-round picks to his bounty from the Los Angeles Clippers, this trade isn’t happening.
Aside from that, trading for Westbrook would give Miami two bonafide All-Stars in the late stages of their primes — Westbrook is 30, Butler is 29. Giving up Bam Adebayo would certainly hurt, as he can be the perfect do-everything center on a championship team.
Trading for Westbrook is pure speculation at this point. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Miami has reached out to the Washington Wizards about trading for Bradley Beal. Beal is 26 years old. He’s played all 82 games the last two seasons.
Jackson even says that the Heat may be willing to take on John Wall — with four years and $172 million left on the deal — to placate the Wizards. Wall will likely miss all of this upcoming season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
The Wizards and Thunder may each go into a full-rebuild mode now. Which player should Pat Riley look to pair next to Jimmy Butler?