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Blazers Stars React To Russell Westbrook Trade News

Blazers Stars React To Russell Westbrook Trade News

The NBA was left buzzing this week after the implosion of the Houston Rockets. Seemingly overnight, a franchise that was once widely regarded as top-tier in the league completely went off the rails.

On Tuesday, word emerged that Westbrook wanted off the Rockets. He was immediately linked to a potential trade involving the Los Angeles Clippers, as well as one with the New York Knicks. Fox Sports NBA insider Nick Wright then decided to also get in on the action by suggesting a possible deal with the Portland Trail Blazers. That prompted immediate responses from team stars CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic.

Part of the reason why Wright’s deal earned such dismissal from Portland’s top talents is because it doesn’t make much sense.

Westbrook just played alongside a ball dominant, scoring-first guard in James Harden – and the results spoke for themselves. Doing that again, with Dame Lillard taking on the role of Harden, makes little sense.

The Blazers have some definite needs that should be addressed if the organization wants to take the next step, but Westbrook would not do much to tackle those issues.

Westbrook is a former league MVP who averaged a triple-double throughout three straight seasons from 2016 to 2019, won a pair of scoring titles, and made it to nine All-NBA Teams. This past season he averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per outing. For all the chatter about his decline, that scoring total was actually his highest since 2016.

That is the good.

The bad is that Westbrook is a 32-year-old, poor-shooting, score-first guard whose game relies heavily on his diminishing athleticism. As if that wasn’t enough, he is owed $41.3 million this year, $44.2 million in 2021-22, and $47 million in 2022-23.

Westbrook fits into a very specific situation, and the Blazers are not that situation.

Recently, Portland was also linked to a prospective swap involving Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward. ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe was the first to suggest it.

“I just think Portland has a move to make that makes their team click a little bit for next season and I think they need to click a little bit with given how good the west is going to be next season,” he said.

The proposed deal would feature some combination of Zach Collins, Trevor Ariza, Rodney Hood and a protected first round pick in exchange for Hayward.

“Ariza is going to be gone from me next year, Hood might be gone from me next year,” Lowe continued. “I’m really just trading for Collins and I have to be really bullish on Collins as probably my future five to make that deal.”

By all accounts, the Blazers know that their roster needs to be modified if they want to compete in the Western Conference. Will those modifications include the additions of Westbrook or Hayward? Time will tell.

Related: Clippers Trading Paul George To Rockets For Russell Westbrook?

Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.

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