Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder appear to be on the verge of a breakup in the aftermath of the blockbuster trade that sent Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers. Following that trade, Westbrook, his agent Thad Foucher, and Thunder GM Sam Presti reportedly began exploring trade options that appealed to both parties.
Among the teams interested in acquiring the eight-time All Star is the Miami Heat, and it is has been reported that Westbrook is certainly open to teaming up with Jimmy Butler in South Beach. A further sign that Westbrook would approve of a trade to the Heat came Instagram on Wednesday when he liked an illustration of himself in a hot pink Heat jersey featuring the caption, “Russ to Miami?”
Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the third consecutive season last year, averaging 22.9 points to go along with 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game. The Thunder finished with a 49-33 record, but were eliminated by the Portland Trail Blazers in five games in the first round.
Now, OKC is officially in rebuild mode and it’s only a matter of time before Westbrook’s 11-year tenure with the franchise comes to an end. The trouble is, Westbrook recently signed a massive five-year, $205 million contract extension. He is owed $38.5 million in the 2019-20 season and a total of $171.1 million over the next four seasons, which includes a $47 million player option when he will be 35 years old.
In addition to the Miami Heat, the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic are reportedly in the mix for a Westbrook trade.