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#pounditFriday, January 27, 2023

Report: Russell Westbrook, Thunder discussing possibility of trade

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook are at a crossroads, and both sides may be ready to move on.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Westbrook’s agent, Thad Foucher, is discussing Westbrook’s next steps with Thunder GM Sam Presti. One of those steps could be exploring trade possibilities, with both sides recognizing that the time may have come after an 11-year partnership to explore external possibilities.

There is no indication that Westbrook has demanded a trade, but there appears to be a willingness on both sides to explore the possibility now that Paul George has been traded to the Los Angeles Clippers and the team’s window for playoff success looks to be closing.

It doesn’t appear that anything led to the breakup of the Thunder, but the reality of the situation is becoming clear. They have been paying heavily into the luxury tax for the right to lose in the first round of the playoffs two years in a row, are falling behind in the West, and have no real prospects to improve.

The biggest issue for Oklahoma City may be getting someone to take Westbrook’s four-year, $170 million deal.

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