Russell Westbrook: Future All-Star?

Greg EvansCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2009

The fourth selection of last year's NBA Draft, Russell Westbrook, was picked to bring a defensive presence to the Thunder franchise. In a mere 28 games as the starting point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook has blossomed into terror on both sides of the ball.

His energy and speed is a contributing factor to the Thunder's success this year, as little as there may be. These positive attributes contribute to Westbrook's biggest flaw—turnovers.

Out of the 46 games played this season, he has had 30 games where he has had more assists than turnovers. Compare that to this year's All-Star point guard from the West, Chris Paul.

In every game that the Hornets have played, Paul has had more assists than turnovers. Allen Iverson, All-Star point guard from the East, has 38 games out 44 where he has more assists than turnovers.

Westbrook has a long road ahead of him if he wants to join the top tier of NBA point guards. Looking at the rest of this year's rookie class, Westbrook's stiffest competition will come from Derrick Rose. Whereas Westbrook is much more of a defensive presence, Chicago's offense runs through Rose.

And in the NBA, people like points.

It will be difficult for Westbrook to match Rose's offensive numbers in the coming years, since Westbrook is not the Thunder's go-to scorer. Though if you look back, you might be surprised with some offensive outbursts by the Thunder's young point man.

Rose has tallied one 30-point game. Westbrook, on the other hand, has exploded to 30 in three times.

Russell Westbrook is already garnering a lot of attention in his first year in the NBA. He was one of three rookies who had a chance to go to the Slam Dunk contest. He is a member of the rookie team on All-Star weekend.

Westbrook has improved dramatically over the course of his season. If he can continue to work on his game, we may one day see Russell Westbrook on the All-Star team.