Are the Miami Heat an option for a Russell Westbrook trade?
With training camp nearing, the options for a Russell Westbrook trade have been quickly evaporating for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The two possible landing spots many have mentioned are the Indiana Pacers and the Utah Jazz. Both are reportedly demanding two future first-round draft picks from L.A., a price it seems unwilling to pay to get rid of Westbrook.
But according to one NBA reporter, there may be a new potential trade partner for the Lakers, and it is an unlikely one.
Via Heat Nation:
“NBA executives and scouts seem to think that the Miami Heat would be an interesting landing spot for Westbrook.
“‘Even then, team executives and scouts could only come up with one potential landing spot: the Miami Heat,’ wrote Ric Bucher of Fox Sports. ‘Team president Pat Riley has a history of cultivating fiery competitive players, from Alonzo Mourning to Brian Grant to Jimmy Butler. He hoped that point guard Kyle Lowry would be the finishing piece to another championship-caliber team last season, but after posting the best record in the East, the team lost to Boston in the conference finals. Lowry, plagued by several nagging injuries, played in only 10 of their 18 postseason contests and was a shell of himself, averaging 7.8 points on 29.1 percent shooting. Depending on how this season goes for the Heat in general and Lowry in particular, Westbrook might be a worthwhile gamble.’
” ‘It makes sense,’ an Eastern Conference executive said. ‘Miami believes they can rehabilitate anyone.’ “
It may be hard for Lakers fans to imagine someone as mercurial and stubborn as Westbrook fitting in with the Heat’s famed culture, but he could very well give them the additional legitimate scoring threat they have lacked.
If Riley and the Heat were actually willing to help the Lakers, a potential trade may have to end up involving Lowry, a player they were reportedly interested in midway through the 2020-21 season.
However, Lowry seems to be in slow decline. He averaged just 13.4 points per game last year, his lowest such output in over a decade.
The 36-year-old point guard has two seasons left on his contract at nearly $30 million per season. It has been speculated the Lakers are looking to get under the salary cap next summer to make another run at Kyrie Irving, this time as a free agent.
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