Publish date:

How deep is the market for Russell Westbrook, and could the Wolves actually trade for him?

Westbrook could be traded before the start of the 2019-20 season.

It's gotta be a long shot at best, but with Russell Westbrook possibly on the trading block in Oklahoma City, the Wolves acquiring makes sense on some levels. 

To be clear: Minnesota has not been linked to Westbrook in any way other than pure speculation. There are teams that have been connected to a possible trade for the All-Star point guard, including the Heat, Pistons and Rockets. 

Do any of the three teams make more sense than the Wolves?

For starters, the Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press had a source with knowledge of the situation tell him that any talk of the Pistons trading for Westbrook is “Ridiculous" and that there is "Nothing there." 

That flies in the face of a report from The Athletic that called the Heat and Pistons "very real possibilities." 

Miami seems to be the early favorite in trade rumors because they could send Goran Dragic's $19 million expiring contract, shooting guard Justice Winslow and draft picks to the Thunder and make a deal work. 

Houston? They're a "long shot," according to a report from ESPN

What about the Wolves?

Trading for Westbrook, who has averaged a triple-double in three consecutive seasons (22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.9 assists last season), is complicated because he has four years and about $170 million left on his contract, including a $46.7 million player option for the 2022-23 season. 

Westbrook is the kind of player that would immediately solve Minnesota's point guard questions and make him and Karl-Anthony Towns one of the most dynamic 1-2 punches in the NBA.

With Westbrook, the Wolves are probably a playoff team. Without him, they are destined for mediocrity in a stacked Western Conference that could lead to a 2020 lottery pick, but unless that pick is in the top three, the odds of landing a star to play alongside Towns during his prime are low. 

It's also prudent to note that next year's free agency class isn't that good, and it doesn't include any game-changing guards – Minnesota's biggest need. Perhaps that will drive Gersson Rosas, Minnesota's president of basketball operations, to go all-in for Westbrook.

Minnesota would likely have to send Andrew Wiggins (four years, $122 million remaining), Jeff Teague (one year, $19 million remaining) and future first-round picks to OKC to get Westbrook. 

Teague is gone after this season regardless and the picks might not be that valuable depending what years they're for and how much success Minnesota has. The big question, as always, is how much Rosas and head coach Ryan Saunders feel they can get out of Wiggins, whose talent as a 24-year-old remains untapped.  

More careless speculation: 

Wiggins has a history of playing his best against the Thunder, and especially at Chesapeake Energy Center where he hit a game-winning buzzer beater from halfcourt in 2017, and scored 40 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while hitting 16-of-18 free throws in Saunders' first game as coach after Tom Thibodeau was fired in January. 

Wiggins always seems to play better in OKC than he does almost anywhere else. 

Perhaps Thunder GM Sam Presti has taken notice?

At this point, everything is speculation. Perhaps some more concrete evidence will link the Wolves and Thunder in the coming days and weeks. We'll see. 

Next Up

Foreman tl - Flug-Presley tr - Sturm bl - Pettus br - Go Fund Me and Facebook

Mystery surrounds discovery of 4 MN friends found dead in SUV

Here's what is known about the case so far — and what questions remains.

Screen Shot 2021-09-16 at 9.21.25 AM

Mpls. school moves to virtual learning due to homeless encampment on grounds

The Volunteers of America School says some students will work remotely, while others work at alternative sites.

storm, severe weather

Severe weather Thursday: Here's what the NWS is saying

If storms can get going during daylight hours, they might be nasty.

John Thompson

Rep. John Thompson to serve as independent after ousting by House DFL

Thompson has been involved in multiple controversies following a July 4 traffic stop.


Chisholm school sends some grades home due to COVID-19 outbreak

Elementary students at Vaughan-Steffensrud are subject to the outbreak.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins needs to let it fly against the Cardinals

An aggressive approach could ensure a win in the desert.

Minneapolis police

Shooting Wednesday marks 7th homicide in 7 days in Minneapolis

The latest shooting happened just before noon Wednesday.


Pedestrian, 34, dies after being struck by semi-trailer on Hwy. 12

The State Patrol says the pedestrian was standing in the lane when he was struck by the semi.

Charpenter injury ATV Go Fund Me

ATV rider nearly killed after being impaled in neck by large stick

The stick was 1.5 inches in diameter and went 6-7 inches into his body.

covid, schools

COVID-19: 153 cases linked to State Fair; school cases rapidly growing

More than 1,100 school-related cases were reported Monday and Tuesday combined.

pixabay coffee waffles

MN restaurant faces $98K fine amid fallout from pandemic violations

The coffee and waffle shop has continued to operate despite not having a license.


Russell Westbrook

ESPN reporter: Wolves 'under-the-radar' team to watch for Westbrook

ESPN's Bobby Marks mentioned the Wolves and Pistons as "under-the-radar" suitors.

Russell Westbrook

Could the Wolves have a shot at signing Russell Westbrook?

The OKC guard is rumored to be on the way out following Paul George's departure.

Westbrook resting for the 1st time all season ... tonight against the Wolves

Russell Westbrook is taking a night off for rest for the first time all season.

Westbrook resting for the 1st time all season ... tonight against the Wolves

Russell Westbrook is taking a night off for rest for the first time all season.

D'Angelo Russell

The latest on the Wolves' reported interest in D'Angelo Russell

The rumor mill is going wild less than a week before NBA free agency begins.

D'Angelo Russell

Report: Warriors, not Wolves, trade for D'Angelo Russell

The 23-year-old All-Star is reportedly going to Golden State.

Wiggins and Russell

Blockbuster trade: Wolves trade Wiggins to Warriors for Russell

A blockbuster trade sends Wiggins to the Warriors and brings Minnesota the point guard it needs.