By UPI |
Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook eyeing Miami Heat
July 8 (UPI) -- Oklahoma City star point guard Russell Westbrook is open to being traded by Thunder general manager Sam Presti after the departure of co-star Paul George.
League sources told ESPN and the Miami Herald on Monday that the Miami Heat have expressed interest in Westbrook, a potential landing spot that appeals to the star guard.
Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, have been exploring trade possibilities with Presti, according to ESPN. The 30-year-old guard wants to play for a title-contending franchise, which is no longer the case in Oklahoma City after George forced a trade to join Kawhi Leonard with the Los Angeles Clippers this off-season.
Westbrook has four years and $170 million left on his current contract, but his large cap number hasn't deterred the Heat, according to the Miami Herald. If a trade were to happen, the Heat would be required to send the Thunder salaries equal or more than the $38.2 million that Westbrook will earn next season.
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Westbrook has spent all 11 of his seasons with the Thunder since the franchise selected him with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. He has averaged a triple-double each of the last three campaigns.
The UCLA product was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player in 2017. He is an eight-time All-Star and has been selected to the All-NBA first team twice.
The Thunder have been eliminated in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs in three consecutive seasons.
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