Russell Westbrook Rumors: League Execs See Heat Trade as 'Inevitability'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2019

PORTLAND, OREGON - APRIL 23: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder shoots the ball during the second half of Game Five of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Portland Trail Blazersduring the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center on April 23, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers won 118-115.  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 Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook could be headed to the Miami Heat before the start of next season.  

"People around the league consider it an inevitability that he will wind up there at this point," Tim Bontemps of ESPN reported. He also revealed that the Heat could be the only team "willing to take on both Westbrook's money and his personality."

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN previously reported Miami has expressed interest and Westbrook would welcome the idea of a trade.

While the former MVP has spent his entire career in Oklahoma City, the squad now seems squarely in a rebuild after trading Paul George and Jerami Grant.

Moving to the Heat could pair him alongside the recently acquired Jimmy Butler while creating a new contender in the Eastern Conference.

However, the floor general's contract could be a significant holdup for any team, including Miami.

Westbrook is owed at least $38 million each of the next four years, including a $47.1 million player option for 2022-23. That's a high level of commitment to one player that could limit cap flexibility for a long time. It could also make matching salaries difficult in any trade.

Still, the point guard reportedly wants out, and the Thunder are motivated to make a deal, which could force all sides to figure out a way to get something done before the start of next season.

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