Kevin Durant is a scoring machine. Durant put up historic numbers in the month of January, and many people attribute his spike in scoring to the fact that Russell Westbrook has been out of the lineup due to injury. Westbrook is believed to shoot too much and take touches away from Durant. So after giving this some thought wouldn’t it make sense for the Oklahoma City Thunder to trade Westbrook for a point guard who facilitates more?
The answer to that question is yes, and the guy they should target is none other than Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics. Rondo is a great facilitator and can distribute the ball to everyone. He runs a better offense and would take less shots than Westrbook.
The downside to having Rondo is the fact that he is not the greatest shooter. He has gotten better over the years but is still inconsistent when shooting a long range or three-point shot. Teams could sag off Rondo and choose to double team Durant or close off on the other shooters they have such as Jeremy Lamb.
Reggie Jackson‘s recent surge has also made Westrbook expendable. The Thunder can move Westbrook for Rondo and then trade Jackson to get a pick and a solid backup point guard back. A team like the New York Knicks are always interested in giving up picks, and Raymond Felton would be a great backup point guard.
The Celtics would likely be looking for a first round draft pick in return because they are trying to rebuild through the draft. They would now have a cornerstone for their franchise and could add a lottery player such as Joel Embiid to make their future bright. With Westbrook signed until after 2017 it would give the Celtics a couple of years to develop into a playoff team once again.
With Durant clearly asserting his dominance the Thunder should seriously consider trying to move Westbrook for Rondo. Westbrook also has a large cap hit, and Rondo is only signed for one more year. This could give the Thunder more flexibility to trade for or sign another piece in their push for a championship.
This trade hasn’t been discussed by the mass media and it probably won’t be. But it makes sense for the Thunder and the Celtics, and the move should be considered if the Thunder want to win a championship soon.