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Rumor: Thunder were willing to give Heat 2021, 2023 picks back in potential deal for Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

The Oklahoma City Thunder engaged in trade conversations with the Miami Heat during a stretch, as they tried to deal franchise point guard Russell Westbrook. While there had been reported interest in rookie Tyler Herro, center Bam Adebayo and swingman Justise Winslow, the Thunder were willing to give the Heat their 2021 and 2023 picks back, which recently made their way to OKC by way of the Paul George trade.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who spoke on The Hoop Collective, the Thunder were willing to consider that as long as they could get the 2024 and 2026 picks the Heat received from the Houston Rockets unprotected with the ability to swap them if need be.

Via Ky Carlin of Thunder Wire:

“While I have been told that Oklahoma City and Miami haven’t like had any formal talks about a Chris Paul trade, they obviously had talks about the Russell Westbrook trade and what I heard about that was one of the conversations that happened in that negotiation before the Houston deal happened, the Thunder had been willing to discuss giving the Heat back their 2021 and maybe even their 2023 picks as part of the deal. But they wanted the 2024 and 2026 picks they got back from Houston unprotected and I think they wanted pick swaps too.”

Those pick demands and idiosyncrasies were only part of why the deal didn’t get through, as most of it hinged on the Heat’s unwillingness to let go of some of their best talent to trade for Westbrook. The Thunder quickly pivoted to make a deal with their conference opponent, trading him only hours after talks with the Heat stalled.