I know what you are thinking why would the San Antonio Spurs trade for Russell Westbrook a guard who is the furthest example from what the San Antonio Spurs have represented since the franchise became a part of the NBA. From David Robinson,Tim Duncan,Tony Parker,Manu Ginobili,Avery Johnson, to Dale Ellis the San Antonio Spurs have always inherited high-character players. I did not mention Kawhi Leonard because his tenure with the San Antonio Spurs after Tim Duncan retired was short-lived and did not have the best ending with Kawhi Leoanard asking out after rumblings about Tony Parker,Manu Ginobili,and Gregg Poppovich questioned the severity of Kawhi Leonard’s injury. Let’s move on to Russell Westbrook, as of right now the Spurs look like a team that could compete for the 7th-8th seed in the Western Conference but ultimately lose in a first round series more than likely and the competition out West is just too steep. DeMar DeRozan and Lamarcus Aldridge have kept the San Antonio Spurs respectable but the Spurs need a jolt and Russell Westbrook can provide that.
Don’t get me wrong I like Dejounte Murray I feel he has a great attitude but the kid is just too injury prone and how much better will he be when healthy? I don’t see a future superstar not even an all-star, the kid is one of the best rebounding point guards in the game and has improved his efficiency as a 3-point shooter but even when he puts it all together how much of a difference maker will he actually be? He will never be as good as Russell Westbrook which is why I think the San Antonio Spurs should look to package Dejounte Murray with Lamarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay in exchange for Russell Westbrook and PJ Tucker. I know Rockets fans you are probably thinking what good do you get in return? Well Dejounte Murray just won’t be the franchise player in San Antonio which is why I think the Spurs should move on from him, Dejounte could be a building block in Houston as they look to rebuild with Westbrook and Harden taking exits. Along with Murray the Rockets get a big man in Aldridge which is what new head coach Stephen Silas said he wanted as he is looking to play different styles. Rudy Gay serves as a veteran and doesn’t have much years left on his current deal, I think this trade keeps the Rockets competitive in the West and gives them a young piece to build around in Dejounte Murray.
2021 will be interesting, Kawhi Leonard,Paul George,and LeBron James will all be available but let’s say LeBron loses with Davis this coming season and Davis only signs for 1 more season with LeBron there could be a possibility LeBron looks to win a title with Gregg Poppovich and have Russell Westbrook as his running mate. The Spurs might have all the cap space in the world and they can open up even more if they move all their big contracts but no superstar is coming to San Antonio if you do not have a player worth teaming up with. Westbrook experimented as the first option in Oklahoma after Durant left, George and Anthony both took a backseat to him and he still was not able to deliver a title for the Thunder and the experiment with Harden fell flat in Houston but can you blame Russ with Mike D’Antoni at the helm? No disrespect to Mike who came within one game of eliminating the Curry-Durant Warriors in the 2018 West Finals but Westbrook needs a coach who will hold him accountable and Gregg Poppovich can do just that. The same way Poppovich gave flexibility to Lamarcus Aldridge as Aldridge was not comfortable early on in Pop’s system he can do the same for Westbrook.
To conclude I would just like to see Westbrook get coached by a coach who can get the best out of his players and have them excel on both ends of the floor. I’ve always liked Westbrook’s potential on defense, I feel if he focused on pacing himself better now that he is in his 30’s he could play at a superstar level another 3 years. I think Poppovich can help Russ slow down and make him much more effective in half-court sets and have him make better decisions late during games. Through 3 quarters Westbrook can carry any NBA team and have you in position to win the game, I know Westbrook is more than willing to take the last shot of the game. The guy is supremely confident and highly expressive on and off the court, I think during timeouts down the stretch Poppovich can get through to Westbrook and Westbrook will trust Poppovich’s directions. Westbrook has another 3 very good seasons, if he does not want to go down the next Iverson,Barkley,or Reggie he would do himself well to trust in Gregg Poppovich. I’ll cross my fingers the Spurs organization takes a chance on Russ, till next time.