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Russell Westbrook Trade Rumors: Heat Prefer Not to Move Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 10, 2019

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook gestures after scoring against the Indiana Pacers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 27, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Rob Ferguson)
Rob Ferguson/Associated Press

If the Miami Heat have their way, an ideal scenario would be acquiring Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder without giving up two of their most promising young players. 

Per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat would "prefer not to include" Tyler Herro or Bam Adebayo in any trade with the Thunder involving Westbrook. 

Jackson did note both teams have been talking about potential combinations to facilitate a deal, but it's "questionable" if the Thunder would simply be willing to take back Heat players whom Miami doesn't have long-term plans for. 

In the wake of Paul George's departure to the Los Angeles Clippers in the deal the netted the Thunder a record-setting number of draft selections, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Westbrook's camp and Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti have been talking about trade possibilities and "are motivated to find a resolution sooner rather than later."

Wojnarowski added Westbrook wants to be on a team trying to contend, and the Heat appeal to the 2016-17 NBA MVP. 

Even though both parties have mutual interest, the Heat have no financial flexibility to maneuver with. They had to negotiate a four-team trade to make the money work after agreeing to a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler at the start of free agency.

Miami is already $47.8 million over the salary cap after adding Butler's four-year, $142 million deal to the books, per Spotrac

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Adebayo showed promise in his second NBA season, averaging 8.9 points and 7.3 rebounds in 82 games. The center, who turns 22 years old next week, also led the Heat with 6.8 win shares, per Basketball Reference

Herro was Miami's first-round draft pick in June. The 19-year-old averaged 14.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in 37 games as a freshman at Kentucky in 2018-19. 

Westbrook is owed $38.5 million next season and a combined $85.6 million in the following two years. The eight-time All-Star has averaged a triple-double in each of the past three seasons, including 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and a league-leading 10.7 assists per game in 2018-19.

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