Home Rumors What the Suns could offer the Thunder

What the Suns could offer the Thunder

0
9

CLOSE

Where do Ricky Rubio and Dario Saric fit in with the other pieces the Suns have? Duane Rankin and Dana Scott discuss the possibilities.
Brian Snyder, Arizona Republic

The Russell Westbrook trade speculation has reached a fever pitch.

On Tuesday, ESPN published a story about six potential trades for Westbrook they’d like to see.

In one of those deals, the Phoenix Suns come away with the superstar.

To acquire Westbrook, ESPN suggests the Suns would have to give up guard Tyler Johnson, forward Kelly Oubre Jr., center Aron Baynes and a 2022 first-round pick.

The draft pick would be lottery protected and would otherwise convert to second-round picks in 2022 and 2023.

Kevin Pelton wrote of the proposed deal: “Because Phoenix wouldn’t trade star guard Devin Booker (who would team with Westbrook in a high-scoring backcourt) and Ricky Rubio can’t be traded until Dec. 15, a trade to the Suns almost certainly would have to include a sign-and-trade involving restricted free agent Oubre. As long as Oubre’s deal was for a minimum of three years and started at more than $12.1 million, this deal would work. Getting Oubre, a 23-year-old wing who averaged 20.6 points per 36 minutes after last season’s trade to Phoenix, would be the main value for Oklahoma City in this deal. It also potentially yields a first-round pick if the Suns become a playoff team and gives the Thunder cap flexibility. With Baynes and Johnson both in the final year of their contracts, Oklahoma City would save somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 million in 2020-21 salary depending on the deal Oubre signed.”

MORE: Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Thunder speculation includes Suns

Adding Westbrook could be a bit risky for the Suns. He’s 30-years-old and is set to earn $171 million over the next four years. But he’s also perennial All-Star and former MVP.

Pelton said that while the trade wouldn’t be a perfect fit, it would have advantages for Phoenix.

“Unfortunately, this deal leaves Phoenix’s roster somewhat imbalanced,” Pelton wrote. “After previously being overstuffed there, the Suns would suddenly be thin on the wing and reliant on first-round picks Ty Jerome and Cameron Johnson to play rotation minutes as rookies. Phoenix also would be too crowded at point guard with the addition of Westbrook alongside Rubio, who agreed to a three-year, $51 million deal less than 10 days ago and would no longer really fit. But the Suns would still have an excellent chance of ending a nine-season playoff drought.”

Speculation about the Oklahoma City All-Star point guard’s future began to heat up after the Thunder traded Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers over the weekend.

The talk intensified after ESPN reported that Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, were engaged in discussions about the next steps in his career, which, according to the report, included the possibility of a trade before the start of next season.

Westbrook averaged a triple-double last season with 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game for the Thunder.

But ESPN wasn’t the only site with a Westbrook-to-the-Suns trade proposal.

MORE:Phoenix Suns slammed for NBA free agency, NBA draft moves

Fansided proposed Phoenix could trade Tyler Johnson, Oubre and/or Mikal Bridges and draft picks to the Thunder for Westbrook.

Adam Noel wrote: “Not only would Westbrook bring in another scoring option for the Suns, but he would create a dynamic pairing with Devin Booker. The two could average over 50 points a game combined and he would immediately take a boat load of pressure off of Booker. Westbrook has proven time and time again he can take any pressure applied.”

How would Russell Westbrook and Devin Booker fare as teammates with the Phoenix Suns? (Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

247Sports had the Suns shipping Tyler Johnson, Baynes, Dario Saric, Elie Okobo and Jevon Carter to the Thunder for Westbrook.

Sam Quinn wrote: “No, this would not be a smart trade for the Suns after signing Ricky Rubio to a three-year deal. But who has ever accused the Suns of being smart? Westbrook is a superstar. The Suns haven’t had one of those since Steve Nash left. If the opportunity to acquire Westbrook really crossed Robert Sarver’s mind, he is absolutely the sort of owner who would consider it regardless how context. And frankly, the Suns could do worse than making this sort of deal. It would all but eliminate their cap flexibility, but they don’t figure to be major players in free agency in the near future. Westbrook would be a nice fit with a shooter like Devin Booker and a rolling big man like DeAndre Ayton. Rubio may be overpaid, but he’d be the best backup in the NBA. It never hurts to have an overqualified reserve. The Thunder get a good look at a couple of young Suns prospects. Okobo and Carter are long shots. Saric is a proven commodity, but one that will get more expensive a year from now. With Johnson and Baynes on expiring deals, though, the Thunder could afford to keep him if they so chose.”

MORE: Phoenix Suns blasted as ‘losers’ for Ricky Rubio deal, questionable moves

Fox Sports proposed a deal including Tyler Johnson, Baynes and a young player like Jerome or Cameron Johnson plus a protected pick for Westbrook.

Jody Oehler wrote: “If I were the Suns, I would do it for a deal similar to the one I listed. It would inject some desperately needed life into the franchise, ease the franchise burden on Devin Booker and offer a path to the playoffs, no matter how brief their stay may be. Westbook comes with his own fair share of baggage but he’s an undeniable NBA superstar and those don’t come around very often. Given his contract, I’m not sure he can be very picky about his next destination and maybe the Suns nucleus of young talent would be enough to convince him it’s a worthwhile place for a fresh start.”

Notable Suns trades through the years

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2019-07-09 22:05:00
Image credit: source

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here