ESPN senior NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski said that the Miami Heat “fit the profile” of a team that may trade for Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.
Woj mentioning Miami-Westbrook again pic.twitter.com/7NLEFUXVzP— ALdonis SLASHburn™ (@AIR305) July 7, 2019
Wojnarowski noted that the Thunder may not seek such a big return for trading the 2017 NBA MVP because they got such a treasure chest of first-round draft picks — four unprotected picks, two pick swaps and Miami’s 2023 pick — from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Paul George. If true, that works out in Miami’s advantage. In addition to the aforementioned 2023 pick, the Heat have already dealt their 2021 first-round pick.
Westbrook has three seasons left on his contract — $38.5 million for this one, $41.4 in 2020-21 and $44.2 million in 2021-22. He’s also coming off a season in which he shot 29 percent from 3-point range and 65.6 percent from the free throw line.
Former NBA center Kendrick Perkins, who was a teammate of Westbrook’s in Oklahoma City, said that Westbrook should go to Miami.
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
Then there’s the issue of which young players Miami would be willing to give up. The Heat balked at giving up Derrick Jones Jr. to complete the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade. Would Miami trade him and Justise Winlsow to get Westbrook? What about Bam Adebayo?
And what would it mean for Miami to trade Josh Richardson to get Jimmy Butler, a 29-year-old, and either Winslow or Adebayo for Westbrook, who is 30? Miami would bank on Butler and Westbrook leading them championship contention with few young players or draft picks in the future. (Tyler Herro has looked nice in the summer league. He still needs to play some NBA games.)