ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook "is welcoming" the idea of a trade elsewhere, and Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated added more context when he mentioned on The Jump on Tuesday that the eight-time All-Star was looking to head out before the George deal.
"I heard that [Westbrook] wanted out and that PG just beat him to the punch and neither one of them knew that the other one was thinking that way," Spears said (2:10 mark).
Westbrook has played his entire 11-year career in Oklahoma City, winning the NBA MVP award in 2016-17. The former UCLA Bruin has averaged a triple-double in each of his past three seasons.
As Frank Urbina of HoopsHype wrote, speculation has also connected the Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks to Westbrook, although Ian Begley of SNY reported that New York cannot complete a deal for the point guard until Dec. 15.
Regardless, Westbrook's Thunder tenure appears to be nearing its end. The team is already down two starters in George and power forward Jerami Grant, who was dealt to the Denver Nuggets. Making the playoffs will be a difficult task alone, and winning a championship is far bleaker.
At this point, a full rebuild featuring Westbrook, Steven Adams and perhaps others seems inevitable. If that's the case, then Westbrook will close out a sensational career in Oklahoma City.
OKC reached the NBA Finals once with him running the point, losing to the Miami Heat in 2012, and the team has made the playoffs in nine of its 10 previous seasons, with three Western Conference Finals berths. Westbrook and Kevin Durant only played a combined 94 games due to injury in the one season sans playoffs, and the team still finished 45-37.
Westbrook has also averaged 23.0 points, 8.4 assists and 7.0 rebounds in 11 years, making eight All-NBA teams and leading the league in scoring and assists twice.