Five reasons why Celtics should pursue Russell Westbrook
SALT LAKE CITY – By now most Boston Celtics fans have moved on from the disappointment in Kevin Durant taking his talents to the Bay Area to join forces with the Golden State Warriors.
His departure may the first of back-to-back major exoduses for the Thunder who also have to worry about losing Russell Westbrook to free agency next summer.
That’s why the idea of trading the five-time All-Star is one that the Thunder have to give some serious thought to this summer, especially if Westbrook continues to be non-committal as to whether he will re-sign with the Thunder in the summer of 2017.
Any deal with the Thunder would have to involve young talent and draft picks, two things the Celtics seem to have an ample supply of currently and into the foreseeable future.
Here’s a look at five reasons why pursuing Russell Westbrook should be on the Boston Celtics’ to-do list this summer.
There are times when Russell Westbrook goes into attack mode and looks to get as deep into the heart of a team’s defense as possible. Defensively, he has improved at using that speed to not just blow by people but also to blow up offensive sets by deflecting a pass, getting a steal while playing the passing lanes or just simply doing a good job to contests shots. He brings a good share of skills to the game that would fit in relatively seamless with a Brad Stevens-coached system.
4. Big Name, Big Game
There are few players in the association with the kind of star power that Westbrook brings to the game. He plays the game with the kind of power and speed that sets him apart from NBA players. It’s not that big a stretch to think that Westbrook’s game could work in Brad Stevens’ system.
3. Brings toughness, durability
Westbrook is praised for his explosive play, but what’s often overlooked when talking about his positives is the fact that injuries don’t keep him down for long. Prior to the 2013-2014 season, Westbrook had a second surgery to his right knee that was supposed to keep him sidelined for two weeks. He was back on the court two days later. And throughout his eight NBA seasons, Westbrook has seen action in 80 or more games, five of the last seven seasons.
2. Keep the momentum going
Landing Al Horford was a nice pick-up for the Boston Celtics. But even with Horford coming, the Celtics have needs … lots of needs. And chief among them is adding a difference-maker like Russell Westbrook to the mix, a player whose aggressive, take-no-prisoners style of play would be a welcomed addition to the Boston roster.
1. Makes Boston elite team in the East
Even though Cleveland is the defending champion and will be favored to return next spring to the Finals, Boston adding a player like Westbrook would instantly put them in the conversation as a team that could threaten the Cavs and advance to the Finals. Westbrook has one of the most complete games you’ll find in the NBA which is evident by him tallying 18 triple-doubles. Having a player who can score and rebound and assist the way he does, makes him an extremely difficult cover.