- Dawson Haywood
Well... this trade puts me in a bit of a bind. For those that do not know, the Lakers are sending Kuzma, Harrell, Caldwell-Pope, and tonight's first round draft pick (if you're reading this on draft night) for Westbrook. Anytime Westbrook is involved in a trade there is going to be a lot given up for him as we have seen when Houston sent Chris Paul and a few first rounders as well as when Washington sent Wall and a first round pick to acquire him.
Westbrook is heading home to LA. Before he became an NBA superstar he grew up in Long Beach, California. Westbrook went to Leuzinger High School and was recruited by UCLA and played for the Bruins for two years before being drafted by the then Super Sonics at pick #4. We witnessed him blossom during his tenure in Oklahoma City.
It was in the 2012 Finals that my best friend introduced me to the Westbrook-Durant-Harden trio and I fell in love. I'd be lying if I said a big part of the reason I like Westbrook is because I wanted that OKC team to beat Lebron and the Miami Heat in the Finals so bad that year. Funny how that works.
When Durant left OKC for Golden State I, along with most OKC fans, was outraged. I truthfully believe that the Westbrook-Durant duo could have won at least two Finals together had they both stayed in OKC. Though the Oklahoma City team will likely not become the championship team they once were, but because of the team they put together that made me fall in love with basketball the Oklahoma City Thunder will always have a special place in my heart.
Now, I do and I don't like this move for Russ. I don't like this move because Russ on a super team is not my favorite look for him. I wish we were able to witness Russ win a Championship leading a team and being the undisputed #1 player on that team. In a perfect world, he would have stayed in OKC and brought a Championship to Bricktown. I wish he would've done what Giannis did and won with the team that drafted him... I wish that was the case with all championship teams. I'm just not a fan of super teams.
On the other hand, I do like this move because Russ actually has a decent shot at getting himself a ring. I'm not entirely sure what happened to the Lakers this past season but I'm hoping it was just the quick turnaround between seasons. Lebron-Davis-Westbrook. The Lakers will be the team to beat once again.
I'll end on this. Westbrook and the Lakers out of the West. Durant and the Nets out of the East...