The Oklahoma City Thunder were bounced from the playoffs thanks to James Harden and the Houston Rockets. While Russell Westbrook will probably go on to with the NBA MVP Award, an extended stay in the playoffs would be better. However, with Russ saying he wants to stay in OKC– is the current roster enough to get him over the hump?
Here are 5 players that could help Westbrook and the Thunder next season.
Anthony is no Kevin Durant but he wants and needs to win. The New York Knicks no longer have use for him and if Anthony is willing to waive his NTC then why not OKC? Anthony has never played with a talent like Westbrook and giving a great chance to prove himself worthy of being with a contender, we may see a different side of the former All-Star. Carmelo, despite the constant trade rumors and in-house dysfunction still managed to post averages of 22 points and 6 rebounds this season. If the Thunder can somehow swing a trade for him for the like of Andre Robertson and Enes Kanter, Russell Westbrook will have another offensive threat by his side.
Much like Anthony, his time with his current team is over. The Indiana Pacers dangled George out in the open during the deadline but his asking prices was too high. After another disappointing season and playoffs, Larry Bird may be eager to start a rebuild. George will be a great fit for the Thunder with his ability to play both ends of the floor. George and Westbrook on the floor together will give the Thunder one of the best one-two punches in the NBA. The Thunder will have to let go of a draft pick and possible Victor Oladipo and possibly Robertson but the end results will be well worth it.
No trade needed here as Griffin will be a Free Agent but his services won’t be cheap. Pairing Westbrook with Griffin would make the Thunder instant contenders in the West. No, it’s not the same as he has in Los Angeles as the Thunder has a more talented roster. If The Thunder can keep Oladipo, Kanter, Adams and Robertson to pair with Griffin, a #2 seed is not out of the question.
Don’t trip. Think about Paul at the point, Westbrook at SG and Oladipo at SF. Westbrook already plays like a SG and think how dangerous he could be playing off the ball. Paul is a distributor, one of the best in the league and he and Westbrook on a break would give any team nightmares. Will they be able to coexist? Yes. Paul could be facing another playoff meltdown and his ability to lead may be in question as soon as the Clippers are eliminated. They will not be the biggest backcourt in the NBA but they will become the most dangerous.
Never say that someone can’t come back home. LeBron James proved that to be true and Durant could be the next in line. Nevermind the media making a big deal of the Westbrook and Durant relationship, what matters is winning. If the Golden State Warriors do not win a title then what’s next for the free agent to be Durant? The Warriors will be cash strapped as retaining Stephen Curry may cost them up to $34M pr year. Durant could earn the same if he decides to opt-out and the Warriors cannot afford both while still needing to sign role players. A return home would please everyone and with Oladipo now in tow, the Thunder will have the offense they been missing since the departure of James Harden.