Two reasons that prevented Heat from acquiring Russell Westbrook
The Miami Heat had their name mentioned as among the potential destinations for Russell Westbrook until the Houston Rockets swooped in.
In the deal, the Thunder sent the superstar point guard to Houston in exchange for Chris Paul, a 2024 and 2026 first-round pick, along with the rights to swap picks in 2021 and 2025.
Westbrook reunites with former teammate James Harden, putting two of the NBA’s most prolific triple-double machines in one team. Prior to this, though, it all seemed that the former Most Valuable Player is headed to South Beach to pair up with Jimmy Butler.
Miami was a constant throughout the entire Westbrook trade rumor series but according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, this fantasy tandem failed to become a reality due to Oklahoma City’s insane demands.
Not only did OKC want valuable young Heat assets, but OKC also asked Heat to take expiring contract of Andre Roberson, who hasn’t played in 18 months after patellar tendon injury.
The young players whom the Thunder wanted, according to Jackson’s report, were any two among Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and Justise Winslow.
Herro has been a standout for Miami in the Summer League, proving that he’s indeed worthy of being a lottery selection. Meanwhile, Adebayo and Winslow are both coming off strong campaigns in 2018-19.
Adebayo proved to be a legitimate defensive presence, in the paint or in switches, and he’s only going to produce a lot more now that Hassan Whiteside has been traded to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Winslow, on the other hand, excelled in a surprise insertion to the point guard spot by coach Erik Spoelstra. The former Duke Blue Devil proved to be a capable playmaker who can knock down shots from long range.
Post-Westbrook, all is not lost for the Heat’s bid to acquire another star running mate for Butler. They’ll just have to wish that Oklahoma City has softened its stance in possible talks centered on Paul.