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The Thunder are probably the team with the biggest upside in the league today. They are freakishly athletic and have two marquee players in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. James Harden is a solid third option and bigs Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins are familiar and comfortable with their respective roles.
For a team that has already proven themselves as an elite squad and shows such great chemistry on and off the court, it is sad to say that the solution might be shipping off Russell Westbrook.
There is no question that he is one of the league’s most talented, athletic and explosive guards and is in the ranks with Derrick Rose as far as statistics go. But he is far too inconsistent, ball dominant and removed from the Thunder’s game plan to thrive in their system.
Kevin Durant and Westbrook have clashed on several instances, resulting in heated exchanges and shouting matches—and that’s just what we see on national television.
Westbrook takes away from Durant’s scoring ability and leadership and veers them away from the potential potency of the Thunder’s offense.
I thought that a great opportunity for the team would’ve been trading Westbrook for Chris Paul this past offseason, but now that that possibility has passed they need to look elsewhere. Westbrook is one of the most valuable assets in the league today considering his potential, experience and talent, and the Thunder could receive a lot in return for him.
Not only will this move create a more cohesive and productive on-the-floor unit, but it will solidify Durant’s title as the franchise player and leader.
I’m not saying that this move needs to happen this season, but if the experiment continues to hit a wall, I say Westbrook needs to go.
Route: Trading Russell Westbrook