With Kevin Durant now out of Oklahoma, it’s time for the Oklahoma City Thunder to decide what their plans are heading into the future. Westbrook and Durant have been dominating the court for nearly the past decade, and they have become another dynamic duo that fans now will reminisce about and wonder what could’ve been. Westbrook has one year remaining on his contract and with Durant gone, the Thunder are no longer a championship contender. Although Durant has left, the Thunder are still loaded with valuable assets, including the explosive point guard and other half of the Thunder’s dynamic duo, Russell Westbrook. Whether the Thunder trade Westbrook or not will be a huge question going into the 2016-17 season, and will continue to be during the campaign.
If the Thunder are to make the best of their current situation, they should consider trading Russell Westbrook. It’s highly likely that he’ll leave Oklahoma this offseason for a new team. His trade value at the moment is sky-high, even with the fact that he has one year left on his contract. Teams like the Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Lakers have the best shot at finding a trade for the explosive guard as these two teams are stacked with young talent and draft picks. Once Westbrook is up on the trade market, teams will flood general manager Sam Presti’s phone looking to negotiate a trade.
With Durant’s departure, the stage has been set for Russell Westbrook to have a dominant and maybe an MVP-caliber season should he stay with Oklahoma. If Westbrook remains with the Thunder, there is no doubt he’ll be in the top three for MVP consideration. The current team in OKC is still solid; they’ve managed to keep much of their roster intact, and have traded Serge Ibaka for Victor Oladipo. Ersan Ilyasova, and the 11th pick in this year’s draft, Domantas Sabonis. Oladipo is a rare gem in the NBA; an excellent two-way shooting guard with explosive leaping ability and an improving three-point shot. Oladipo shows flashes of Dwayne Wade in his game and will most likely be the new number two scoring option for the Thunder.
They still have their “Stache Bros.” in Enes Kanter and Steven Adams, ace perimeter defender Andre Roberson, and back-up point guard Cameron Payne. The Thunder are still stocked with young talent and with Durant gone, his numbers are set to disperse among those who will step up for the Thunder this season. The Thunder are far from out in terms of the 2016-17 playoff race, but at this point they are out of NBA championship contention.
Fans everywhere are in store for what could be one of the greatest single-season performances by a point guard. I’m sure we all remember what Westbrook did to the NBA last season when Durant was injured. In the month of February, Westbrook tore up the league, averaging nearly 30 points per game, ten assists, and eight rebounds. Not to mention his incredible efficiency with 48.7% shooting. Westbrook is ready to play without Durant; there’s no question about that. I’d be shocked to see him post up anything less than what he did in that February of 2015. Get ready NBA fans, next season is primed to be one of the most interesting yet.