League Executives Reportedly Believe Russell Westbrook Could Be Traded To The Celtics This Summer

Russell Westbrook
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Years of hopes and expectations gleaned from Kevin Durant’s first foray into unrestricted free agency have finally passed. With his defection from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors, though, comes a new possibility that could continue to shift the league’s balance of power.

According to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, multiple league executives believe the Thunder will trade Russell Westbrook before the 2016-17 season tips off and that the Boston Celtics are “most likely” to win the bidding for the five-time All-Star.

Westbrook will reportedly opt against signing an extension with Oklahoma City before hitting unrestricted free agency next summer. No consensus has developed among league insiders on the 27-year-old’s plans in the wake of Durant’s departure, but Beck notes there is a “very strong suspicion” from front office higher-ups across the NBA that he’ll leave the Thunder a year from now.

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Boston has long been considered the frontrunner to acquire any superstar who finds himself on the trade block given its considerable stable of assets. In addition to promising youngsters Marcus Smart and No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown, the Celtics possess the right to swap draft choices with the Brooklyn Nets in 2017 – an option Danny Ainge will surely exercise given the standing of both teams in the league hierarchy – and will also be sent their pick the following year. Key cogs Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and Avery Bradley could potentially be moved in a deal that would bring a player of Westbrook’s caliber to Boston, too.

It’s pertinent to remember that this is all speculation. Beck stresses that he has no concrete intel on Oklahoma City’s approach with Westbrook nor any trade discussions with the Celtics. Misinformation always rules the day during the offseason, especially as decision-making honchos gather in Las Vegas at Summer League. Nothing is even close to imminent regarding the Thunder’s lone superstar for now, basically.

Regardless, take this juicy nugget as the latest indication that Westbrook’s future will be the talk of the league until it’s finally decided – just like his former teammate’s.

(Bleacher Report)