NBA Trade News: OKC Thunder Reject Rajon Rondo for Russell Westbrook Deal

Luke JohnsonContributor IIINovember 30, 2011

BOSTON - MARCH 31:  Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics directs his teammates in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 31, 2010 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Boston Celtics 109-104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Early this morning, ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard reported the Celtics were seeking a new home for Rajon Rondo—one of those homes being Oklahoma City.

A deal involving Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Perkins for Rondo and Jeff Green was ultimately turned down by OKC's front office.

Though Westbrook is a young point guard with tremendous upside, his erratic shot selection in last year's playoffs proved his unwillingness to play in Scott Brook's system.

While he huffed and puffed on the sidelines, further icing out teammates, team chemistry was shot. The result was a five-game ousting in the Western Conference Finals.

Not only does his personality clash with franchise face and superstar Kevin Durant, but Westbrook's disregard for professionalism at league negotiations was paralyzing.

His red sweatshirt attire was a childish miscalculation that ultimately defined the direction the young star is choosing to take. 

Call it an act of youth or a competitor's fire, I'll call it a bad case of the me-first-gimme-gimmes and something that ultimately will result in the disbanding of a young core in OKC.

This was a prime opportunity for Thunder management to land a 25-year-old champion point guard with a pedigree for greatness. Rondo's league-leading 11.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game were a perfect fit in Brook's defensive-minded system.

The move would maximize team chemistry by adding a real point guard. It allows Durant to be the tell-all go-to guy late in games and balances the floor with a fluid mix of personalities.


Re-inserting humble, do-it-all forward, Jeff Green counters loss in offensive production without Westbrook, while further balancing the team with an unselfish approach on offense.

This misstep will be a point of memory in the coming years. If Westbrook cannot correct his indifference with team play, Thunder management will look back on this trade and lament.