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4 Teams That Need to Call the Thunder About a Russell Westbrook Trade Right Now

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 21:   Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates his shot in the first half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on January 21, 2019 in New York City.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Oklahoma City Thunder v New York Knicks | Elsa/Getty Images

Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder have tepidly hit the reset button with their trade of Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers and subsequent acquisition of a hoard of draft picks and players from LA. The biggest obstacle preventing OKC from fully rebuilding is Russell Westbrook. The triple-double machine that has now driven three stars out of town and is losing his jump shot. By trading him to one of these four teams, the Thunder could jettison him, his style of play, and his massive contract while collecting a solid haul of picks.

4. Miami Heat

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 09: Jimmy Butler #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers points against the Toronto Raptors in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center on May 9, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Raptors 112-101. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Six | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Pat Riley has always been a sucker for stars at the expense of draft picks, and could be enticed to swing a deal for Westbrook. While the personalties of Jimmy Butler and Russ together in the same locker room could lead to as many physical altercations on the court as wins, those two running the show in Miami would at the very least make the Heat a playoff lock in the East, which is more than can be said about that franchise ever since LeBron left. The problem is that the Heat don't own any of their first-round picks for quite a while, so it's unclear what they can do at this point.

3. Indiana Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 20:   Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball against of the Charlotte Hornets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on January 20, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana.     (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets v Indiana Pacers | Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Westbrook and Victor Oladipo played one (unsuccessful) season together before the Pacers traded for the former Indiana Hoosier and he emerged into a star. As deep as the Pacers are and as good of a coach as Nate McMillan is, how far can you go in the East with Oladipo as your best player? Westbrook's gaudy offensive production would give the Pacers a superstar and vaunt them into the championship contender discussion.

2. New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 27:   Head coach David Fizdale of the New York Knicks reacts to a call against the New York Knicks in the third quarter against the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on January 27, 2019 in New York City.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Miami Heat v New York Knicks | Elsa/Getty Images

Fear not, Knicks fans, there is still a path to a superstar. Rather than again bet it all on black in the 2021 free agency before their inevitable failure, the Knicks could send some of the stockpile of picks they acquired from Dallas in the Kristaps Porzingis trade and a few of those two-year deals they made this offseason to Oklahoma City for Westbrook. The fit might be a bit incongruous, but he'll be the best player the Knicks have had since Carmelo and would finally give those fans something to cheer for besides hope.

1. Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 04:  Devin Booker #1 of the Phoenix Suns reacts during the second half of the NBA game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Talking Stick Resort Arena on March 04, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Bucks 114-105.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks v Phoenix Suns | Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Are you serious about fixing your point guard problem, Suns? If so, forget about Ricky Rubio and try to hit a home run by trading for a future Hall of Famer. Send a few picks and players to the Thunder, and you could end up with a starting five of Westbrook, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Kelly Oubre and DeAndre Ayton. That could be enough to get the moribund Suns back to the playoffs. At the very least, they'll be a respectable team again and not a doormat.