Fallout over Westbrook in South Beach
After a crazy free agency, the Miami Heat still have multiple big and expiring contracts. The team did the unthinkable and got Jimmy Butler to want to come to Miami, and completed that by a sign and trade. Just 10 days later, another superstar is getting traded. His name, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook demanded a trade to a few destinations after Paul George left for the Clippers. Of those few destinations was South Beach itself.
Are the hopes coming true?
After hearing Westbrook and the Heat being a potential match, Miami fans began to bring on deep excitement. Butler and Westbrook could be another dynamic duo that could lead them through the Eastern Conference. Then this report on came out, which practically seemed to seal the deal.
The hopes seemed to come true. Until the next day when he was traded to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and two first round picks. As they negotiated for three days, a deal between the Thunder and Heat was never made. OKC instead found another partner quickly and ruined many dreams for Miami fans.
What were the Thunder thinking?
As many Heat fans were upset over not getting Russell Westbrook, many were wondering why the Thunder accepted that offer. The Heat were going to offer Goran Dragic, on an expiring contract. Kelly Olynk, with a player option coming up and Justice Winslow, a great young asset who just resigned at a great value contract of $13M a year. As for picks, the Heat could only take away protections from the picks they had already given the Thunder earlier.
What the Thunder accepted instead wasn’t anything close to the deal the Heat were offering. The Thunder got two more first round picks, that will be between 25-30 since Houston is a great team. They also got Chris Paul, a 34-year-old point guard who may have the worst contract in the NBA. And because of that contract and age, they will struggle to move him for more assets.
Now the Thunder have a dilemma of trading Paul, as we mentioned is hard to do because of his contract. Reports are also that in order for the Thunder to trade Paul and clear his contract off their cap, they will have to throw in a couple of picks as well. So basically, given the Thunder got two picks from the Rockets, are they pretty much going to trade everything they got for Westbrook? And if they do that, doesn’t that meant that they gave Westbrook away for nothing? Nothing has gone down yet, but it will be very interesting to see the next steps the Thunder take.
And here we go again. Are the Heat just trying to get anyone extra now? Miami is the only team in sight that has been rumored to talk about Paul, but even they aren’t that into it. The idea throughout the organization is to possibly get Chris Paul and flip him for Wizards star John Wall or Bradley Beal. The idea is still a little far fetched, but don’t expect Chris Paul to come to Miami just because.