Dissecting the Trade Rumor of Clippers Acquiring Westbrook

Dissecting the Trade Rumor of Clippers Acquiring Westbrook

by November 14, 2020 0 comments

Russell Westbrook requested a trade from the Houston Rockets a few days ago. Just hours after his request, the Los Angeles Clippers showed interest in the former MVP point guard. Soon after, a report surfaced that the Clippers would send Paul George and a first round pick to Houston for the disgruntled point guard and Robert Covington.

This trade rumor is riddled with questions. Kawhi Leonard must have been furious after an early exit in this year’s playoffs. So much so that he is willing to get Paul George traded just after one year. It has been speculated that Leonard is trying to recruit Chris Paul, and now Westbrook. Leonard seems to have no remorse regarding anyone that underperforms. George, an MVP candidate just one year ago, had an underwhelming playoff series against the Denver Nuggets.

The problems

As far as talent, Westbrook can provide more athleticism and energy than George. However, defensively George is much more reliable than the former MVP. He is a much better shooter than Westbrook as well. A trade of George for Westbrook seems counterproductive for the Clippers. While the Clippers would receive a more energized and athletic player, they would lose shooting and defense.

Another problem with this trade is that Los Angeles would be giving up a player who is in their prime at the age of 30, whereas Westbrook at 32 years of age is slowing down from what he was in Oklahoma City. The guard still explosive, but does have the propensity to get injured frequently. 

Los Angeles is also reportedly offering a first round pick. It seems that Leonard has them wrapped around his finger. The Clippers gave up five first round picks and two very talented players in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari to acquire George. If this trade goes through, the team will have traded six first round picks and two quality starters for Westbrook, which is terrible basketball management. It is ironic that just a year ago George and Westbrook were both playing together in Oklahoma City. Now after both players changed teams, they could be traded for one another. After they left Oklahoma City each player dipped in production, especially in the playoffs. 

The fallout

This trade would set the Clippers back a decade. After losing young talent in Gilgeous-Alexander and six first round picks the Clippers are looking at a future of absolutely nothing. Even if Westbrook has a comeback season and the Clippers win a title out of this trade, what happens next? Leonard is not a loyal basketball player. He wanted out San Antonio, and demanded a trade. He wanted out of Toronto after winning them their first title, never even giving them a thought in free agency.

Leonard is now in danger of destroying an entire franchise’s future because he wants George gone, though he was the one who had a say in the trade to bring him to Los Angeles. Overall, this trade is a nightmare for Steve Ballmer and company. If they want to trade George for Westbrook, they had better acquire more players and picks. The trade would send the Clippers into another decade of disaster.

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