Remember in the days of Russ and KD? Remember how awesome it was to watch those two do their thing together every night? With Durant long gone, that memory seems like a distant dream now. Russ will probably win the MVP this year, but he is still without a star teammate, and will most likely get bounced in the first round of this year's playoffs.
This summer, however, things could change. Russ could finally get the help he’s been wanting since KD walked out of the door. Here’s 5 players that have a shot to team up with Russ this summer, and start a new OKC dynasty:
5. Andre Iguodala
The Warriors will have to open up their wallets big time this summer. They have to pay both KD and Steph the max if they want to make sure they don’t listen to any other offers. Those contracts, however, will leave little room to pay others on the team what they deserve. Iggy could very well be one of those players.
He could elect to leave, for the right price and situation. And where better to go, than to play with one of the best point guards in the NBA? Iggy and Westbrook would form one of the most athletic tandems in the NBA today. It would also help bolster OKC’s defense in addition to a veteran, championship minded presence in the locker room.
4. Gordon Hayward
Hayward will be a free agent this summer, and OKC will no doubt be trying to pursue him. Why wouldn't they? Hayward can shoot, rebound, and he can hold his own on the defensive end. He’d add much-needed shooting, to a Thunder offense that depends way too much on Westbrook’s game.
Russ and Hayward would surely prove to be one of the best duos in the league if they decided to team up. It would be deadly for the rest of the league.
3. Dwyane Wade
The Chicago Bulls are having a hellish season, and Dwyane is caught right in the middle of it. Does he really want to spend his remaining years playing for a dysfunctional, losing franchise? Chances are, he’ll bolt this summer for one final chance to win a ring. Russell Westbrook and the OKC Thunder could give him the chance he’s looking for.
If the Thunder sign Wade and add a wing player to help their shooting, they would be a pretty scary team, with one of the best backcourts in the NBA. D-Wade and Russ would be a perfect locker room voice, and they could lead the Thunder down a road they haven’t gone in a long time.
2. Blake Griffin
At this point, it’s seeming more and more likely that somebody is going to leave the Clippers. And because it probably won't be CP3, that only leaves Griffin. In all his years in the NBA, he’s seen very little success in the postseason. With Westbrook at his side (throwing him as many lobs as he could spare) it’s hard to imagine that he wouldn’t flourish.
Westbrook would have a reliable teammate, and an easy way to rack up assists. Also, Griffin would give the team a better balance of scoring between the big man and point guard. A front court of Steven Adams, Enes Kanter, and Blake Griffin would be pretty hard for any team to beat.
1. Paul George
Many NBA execs around the league believe Paul George is “dead set” on leaving the Pacers eventually. He is not a free agent thus summer, but Indiana could trade him in order to make sure they don't let him walk for anything. The Thunder could make an offer involving Victor Oladipo for George. While it’s not the best trade in the world for Indy, they could certainly do worse.
Paul George and Russ would be an awesome balance of athleticism, scoring, and killer instinct. Not to mention that with the two on the same team, it would almost immediately attract plenty of other free agents to the city.