Russell Westbrook has spent the entirety of his 11-season career with the Thunder, but a change in direction for the organization might soon spell the end of the star’s Oklahoma City tenure.
With Paul George now a member of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Thunder reportedly are taking calls on Westbrook, an eight-time All-NBA selection. While there have been a couple of rumored landing spots for the 30-year-old, teams appear to be fearful of targeting him.
According to ESPN’s Royce Young, the $47.1 million that Westbrook is set to make in the 2022-23 campaign is giving teams pause.
“Russell Westbrook is going to make 47 million dollars when he’s 34 years old,” Young said on “SportsCenter.” “And that’s giving a lot of teams around the league a little bit of pause when they decide ‘what’s that guy going to look like?’ Somebody that relies on athleticism, what’s he going to look like when you’re paying him almost 50 million dollars at 34 years old?”
That’s a legitimate fear, as any trade to land Westbrook certainly would require a massive return. For the most part, Westbrook has been a durable player, but now that he’s hit 30, we could start to see him trend in the wrong direction. And though that’s not a guarantee, it’s something wise teams should be wary of when building a package for him.