The Russell Westbrook saga has dragged on for weeks since Kevin Durant left tornado alley for a spot next to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
We've heard a bunch of rumors:
- Westbrook to Boston?
- The Wolves would be a good fit?
- Spurs could rule the NBA with a Westbrook trade
There's been a ton of speculation, but the latest from ESPN's Royce Young is that Westbrook has informed the Thunder that he does not want to be traded.
"According to sources with knowledge of the situation, he doesn't want to be traded. He wants to play next season with the Thunder. It's the year after that which is in question. There's a growing belief Westbrook will think heavily about an extension but will first weigh every angle before doing it."
CBS Sports points out that because Oklahoma City hasn't made any big deals in free agency, along with Dion Waiters signing with the Miami Heat on Monday, they can now boost Westbrook's 2016-17 salary to a max deal that would pay him about $26 million. He's currently due to make $17.7 million next season.
But remember, Westbrook is still due to become a free agent next summer. The Thunder paying him more money this season without inking him to an extension would still leave them vulnerable to Westbrook leaving anyway. Trading him before he becomes a free agent is the only way to guarantee the Thunder won't get burned.
Does Westbrook really not want to be traded? The Oklahoman is unsure, saying Westbrook's intentions remain a secret.
As it stands right now – at least in the public eye – the Wolves' only connection to Westbrook is a bunch of bloggers who believe Minnesota has enough assets trade for him, but that's nothing more pure speculation.