Over the past two years, there have probably been 1,000 trade ideas involving Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The basic premise is that Russell Westbrook is unbelievable, but he and Kevin Durant can’t coexist perfectly, and one of them needs to go.
Obviously, the assumption is that Durant should stay, so that leaves Russell Westbrook – one of the ten best players in the NBA by any calculation – out in the cold.
In this post, I will debunk the thinking behind one persistent Russell Westbrook trade pipe-dream…and then present another one that actually makes sense for both teams.
Russell Westbrook for Rajon Rondo? Please.
The one guy who keeps coming up in Westbrook talks is Rajon Rondo. The thinking is that Rondo is a pass-first PG, and Westbrook is a scorer; Rondo would mesh perfectly with Durant and would make it personal mission every single night to get Durant 40 points a game.
This is all well and good, but everyone is forgetting one thing:
In no way, shape, or form is Rajon Rondo nearly as good as Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook is a better scorer. Westbrook is a better shooter. Westbrook is stronger. Westbrook is more athletic. Westbrook is bigger. Westbrook is younger. Westbrook outplayed Rondo so bad last summer on Team USA that Coach K had to cut Rondo just days before the games.
Sure, Rondo is a better passer, but he’s still 1-7 against RW on the ability scoreboard.
So unless the Celtics offered to trade the Thunder Rondo, Ray Allen, a draft pick, and possibly another young player…the Thunder would never accept the trade.
Even if the assumption is that Westbrook is a slight headcase…what do you think you are trading for in Rajon Rondo?
Really, this is just a pipe-dream created by Celtics fans. They know that you can’t build a team around Rajon Rondo going forward. Westbrook, on the other hand, could absolutely be Derrick Rose in the right setting.
But there is one trade that does make sense, not just for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but also for the other team involved.
Russell Westbrook To The T’Wolves? Hmm…
Unfortunately, it would never happen.
The names are simply too big. The shakeup would be too great. And NBA teams, as a general rule, usually end up being gutless in these kinds of situations.
But look past the “it would never happen” part of this trade. I challenge you to find a loser in the following deal.
I know, I know. Rubio, Love, and Westbrook involved in one trade? No way.
But think about it.
Continue reading to see why this trade would work out well in both the short-term and long-term for each side.