Why Westbrook won't work in OKC
Old 12-30-2011, 05:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why Westbrook won't work in OKC

The Oklahoma City Thunder place a high value on players’ ability to “fit in” – and it’s clear Russell Westbrook no longer does. If he doesn’t fit emotionally, he’ll be a bad fit financially. One way or another, he can’t be a part of their long-term planning.

Westbrook and Kevin Durant got into a shouting match during a timeout in the Thunder’s victory at Memphis Wednesday night. As detailed by The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry, Westbrook was yelling at Thabo Sefolosha for passing up an open shot and when Durant tried to calm him down, Westbrook snapped at Durant. Back on the court, Durant patted Westbrook on the head and they appeared to coexist the rest of the game.

A Thunder source said the altercation amounted to “nothing at all” and a source close to Durant said, “I don’t think it’s that big a deal.”

But Westbrook couldn’t get over it enough to make a shot Wednesday, finishing 0-for-13 from the field. And it isn’t the first time he and Durant have clashed. The Thunder can’t afford to bet it will be the last. Even Durant’s ally qualified his downplaying of the situation by saying Durant and Westbrook were fine “right now.” He couldn’t guarantee they’ll stay that way.

If the Thunder do want Westbrook, it’s not a given that he wants to be there. He’s told friends he feels Thunder coach Scott Brooks blames him for losses, while the credit for victories goes to Durant. You also don’t hear Westbrook constantly profess his love of playing in a small market the way Durant does.

Culture is a big part of the Thunder program. They value fit over talent. One of the reasons they took James Harden over, say, eventual rookie of the year Tyreke Evans in the 2009 draft was because they thought Harden could tolerate a secondary role.

Now, about the money. Westbrook becomes a restricted free agent after this season. He’s about to get real expensive. And thanks to the new “Derrick Rose Rule,” which allows players who win an MVP or make the All-Star starting lineup or All-NBA team twice in the first four years, he could be even more expensive. As in, eligible for a contract that pays him 30 percent of the salary cap. Westbrook was second-team All-NBA last season.

The Rose Rule already bumped Durant’s paycheck by an extra $2.5 million a year, and Westbrook could be living in that same $18 million-a-season neighborhood. Depending on what other moves the Thunder make, a huge boost to Westbrook’s salary could put Oklahoma City in luxury tax territory next season and beyond. Starting in 2013-14 the tax will be progressively more punitive than the simple dollar-for-dollar surcharge in place now, and there are additional penalties for repeat tax “offenders.” In addition tax teams have restrictions on their abilities to make trades and sign players to the full mid-level exception.

Within minutes of the bench spat Wednesday night Twitter exploded with all kinds of trade suggestions for Westbrook. But I didn’t see anyone mention the best idea: to Golden State for Stephen Curry.

Curry is still on his rookie contract through 2012-13 (when he’ll make $4 million) so he would almost guarantee the Thunder stay below the tax threshold for another year, and he probably won’t be eligible for the Rose Rule pay boost, which would keep his maximum salary 5 percent lower than what Westbrook’s might be when it’s time to re-sign him.

Curry would also give the Thunder more scoring punch from the starting 2-guard spot than they currently have from Sefolosha. From Golden State’s perspective, Westbrook is a better defender than Curry, and that should count a lot for the new-look Warriors. (Believe it or not, Mark Jackson’s squad is among the top 10 defenses for fewest opponent points allowed so far.) And Westbrook is more likely to cause sprained ankles than suffer as many as Curry has.

Eric Maynor is more than capable of taking over at point guard for the Thunder. According to 82games.com, the lineup of Maynor, Durant, James Harden, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison had almost identical offensive and defensive points-per-possession numbers as the same unit with Westbrook. And Maynor had a higher net on-court/off-court plus/minus than Westbrook last season. Don’t forget that Maynor played the entire fourth quarter while Westbrook sat on the bench in the Thunder’s lone victory against Dallas in the Western Conference finals. When Maynor needs a rest they could bring in Harden and slide Curry over to the point, then sub Maynor back in to give Curry a breather.
http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/pos...nt-work-in-okc

Last edited by jeffb; 12-30-2011 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They haven't even lost yet. You can't say it don't work when nobody can beat 'em. Westbrook is extremely strong and fast. He wears fools out, makes everyone start watching him, then Durant and Harden throw haymakers from your blind spot.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think this notion that russell has to go is foolish. He's a stud.
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Old 12-30-2011, 06:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bring him here
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
T. Ross IS The Phantom Menace.

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Can't even get along this well, huh?


This is exactly the kind of move Colangelo would make, and not care if you were mad about it. If you guys see a bunch of other 25 point, 8 assist all star point guards who are longing to lead their teams and escape from a small town, you let me know. Maybe ther will be one in the 2015 draft.


sick.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm sure the Raps would give up Calderon/Bayless and Bargnani for him plus a future first round pick
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Excellent. Bring him here. Anyone check to see if he wants to be on a team that won as many games as he lost last season?
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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who cares what he wants.
bring him here BC!
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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How many points and assists does he get without the supporting cast?
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Westbrook's athleticism makes Demar's seem average..... He's not getting dealt, but if things get worse in the playoffs again, Colangelo should offer the pick and Davis to bring him in.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
T. Ross IS The Phantom Menace.

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If they open the door , pay that man.

Dream big.
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Old 12-31-2011, 02:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Bargnani + 1st rounder for Westbrook
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Old 12-31-2011, 04:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Guys, those trades are pipe dreams. Do you want to know what it would probably take? Bargnani + DeMar + Jonas + 1st Rounder. If you don't have a star player to at least somewhat equalize the value, you'd have to mortgage your whole future to acquire a perennial all-star. Known quantities are worth a lot.
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Old 12-31-2011, 06:13 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Metallikid View Post
Guys, those trades are pipe dreams. Do you want to know what it would probably take? Bargnani + DeMar + Jonas + 1st Rounder. If you don't have a star player to at least somewhat equalize the value, you'd have to mortgage your whole future to acquire a perennial all-star. Known quantities are worth a lot.
I doubt it would take that much. Lets look at the Carmelo trade:

Denver got: Chandler, Felton, Gallinari, Mosgov, 1st round pick and 2nd round pick

New York got: Melo, Billups, Sheldon Williams, Carter and Balkman.

If you think about it, Chandler, Gallinari and the 1st rounder were the only players who fit into the nuggets future plans and the 1st rounder will probably be a late pick anyway. So basically Chandler and Gallinari for a proven superstar in this league isnt a whole lot. Westbrook hasnt even proven yet that he can be a superstar and lead a team so I dont see how he would net a whole lot more.

If we do trade for Westbrook, I hope he agrees to sign a contract cause I certainly dont want to give up good young players for half a season of Westbrook.

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Old 12-31-2011, 07:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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If we're going to target somebody down the road I hope it's Rubio.
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Old 12-31-2011, 07:47 AM   #16 (permalink)
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If we do trade for Westbrook, I hope he agrees to sign a contract cause I certainly dont want to give up good young players for half a season of Westbrook.
He's 23, he does what he's told till 26 right? All those articles saying the raps will be good then. We can hold him hostage till he gets the stokholm.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:37 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Westbrook's athleticism makes Demar's seem average..... He's not getting dealt, but if things get worse in the playoffs again, Colangelo should offer the pick and Davis to bring him in.
If things get worse in the playoffs again, it will likely mean that Westbrook has taken a shitload of bad shots again. I wouldn't get too excited about that myself.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Metallikid View Post
Guys, those trades are pipe dreams. Do you want to know what it would probably take? Bargnani + DeMar + Jonas + 1st Rounder. If you don't have a star player to at least somewhat equalize the value, you'd have to mortgage your whole future to acquire a perennial all-star. Known quantities are worth a lot.
Lmao

Yeah it would take two 20 point scorers (so take 40pts off our roster), a top prospect Center and a 1st round pick for one player who's been good for what, a couple years? Come on. He's not Lebron James.

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Old 12-31-2011, 10:02 AM   #19 (permalink)
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If we're going to target somebody down the road I hope it's Rubio.
+1000
i've been screaming his name for quite some time now...he's perfect for Casey's/Mavs flow offense
dude would be an absolute stud in TO
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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If we're going to target somebody down the road I hope it's Rubio.
with all the PG's they've drafted and signed he's the only true PG for the future.
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