The Oklahoma City Thunder are in a fascinating position. After one year with the star-studded trio of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony, the team could bring back all three big names—or none of them.
Carmelo is unhappy, and the Thunder are reportedly hoping to move on from the aging forward. They clearly want to hold onto Paul George, but he's a free agent, and some around the league think he's as good as gone.
So, what about their third star? Logic indicates Russ will definitely be back with OKC next season, but a growing number of people around the league think the Thunder should consider putting him on the market, according to a new podcast from ESPN.
Zach Lowe, one of the best writers and podcasters in the NBA cosmos, mentioned the Westbrook rumor on a recent episode of The Lowe Post. "There's an increasing number of people around the league who think the Thunder should look at trading Westbrook," Lowe said. "To be clear, not a report. Not 'Thunder sources think they should do this.' Just in spitballing ideas with teams around the league, there's a number of people who have heard, just like, 'It's time for something to change here.' And my reaction to that is, no one should touch that contract with a 10-foot pole."
Westbrook is currently earning $28.5 million per year. In September, he agreed to a max contract extension.
Russell Westbrook has agreed to a five-year, $205M contract extension with OKC, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 29, 2017
This season the 29-year-old averaged a triple-double for the second consecutive year, putting up 25.4 points, 10.3 assists, and 10.1 rebounds per game. He has come under constant criticism for doing too much, hogging the ball, and stealing rebounds.
The Thunder fell in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz.