20160416_201617

UPDATE: RUSS HAS RE-SIGNED

So multiple reports are saying the Russell Westbrook is on the verge of signing a contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder that will pay him $85 million over the course of 3 years.

While this should make Thunder fans rejoice (and with good reason), should Russ return to OKC there are several interesting things to watch going forward. Here are several of them:

  1. How do the Thunder continue to build the roster around him?

I am going to assume that OKC 5.247 in cap space left after bringing Russ back.

So how do the Thunder build around Russ? I believe they could use the following:

  1. Starting Small Forward
  2. Rotation Athletic Power Forward that can switch on perimeter

Here are a couple of options that could present themselves.

Nuggets and Thunder Trade

Nuggets get 2 of the following 3 players (Mitch McGary, Anthony Morrow, and Kyle Singler) and the Thunder 2020 1st round draft pick

Thunder get Wilson Chandler

Chandler is a really good defender and could easily average 15 points a game. This trade on the surface doesn’t make a ton of sense for Denver but the Nuggets window to win is at least 3 years away. Chandler (being 29) doesn’t fit into this window. They could add another player in the 2020 draft to their young core.

Kings and Thunder Trade

Kings Gets Singler and Morrow and multiple 2nd round picks

Thunder Get Rudy Gay

Sacramento probably doesn’t make this trade unless they get the Thunder 2020 1st round pick. I would consider the 2020 1st round pick and maybe more if they would consider trading Willie Cauley Stein along with Gay.

     2. Do the Thunder Still Consider Trading Russ?

While this might be unthinkable, imagine the return that the Thunder could get.

Pretty much any scenario would be on the table. D’angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle, and a 1st round pick. The Laker probably jump at this. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Demetrius Jackson and both the Nets 2017 and 2018 pick. You could probably even get a 3rd team involved sending a big to the Celtics (hello 76ers assuming they would get Isaiah Thomas back from the Celtics ) and the Thunder could net Timothe Luwawu and the 76ers 2017 1st round pick. I bet the Celtics say yes and the 76ers are ready as well.

How about Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Nikola Jokic and Danillo Gallinari. I bet you could get the Nuggets to surrender this group.

While, I am not in the trade Westbrook camp with this deal, you could get an unheard of haul if you were to search out a trade.

Final Thought