The Russell Westbrook trade watch is now on red alert following reports of the All-Star point guard seeking a trade out of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Westbrook, who has spent 11 seasons in Oklahoma City, already informed Thunder general manager Sam Presti last weekend about his desire for a trade hopefully before the start of the 2019-20 NBA season.

The superstar’s trade request doesn’t come as a surprise since Westbrook has already expressed discontent towards the organization dating back to the Thunder’s first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.

Oklahoma City has never reached the second round of the playoffs since Kevin Durant left to join the Golden State Warriors in 2016. This is despite having the service of Paul George in the last two seasons.

On Friday, a bombshell of a deal took place with the Thunder trading George to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for a boatload of future draft picks, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Danilo Gallinari.

With his co-star now gone, it all makes sense for Westbrook to confront the Thunder front-office and subsequently ask for a trade.

Adrian Wojnarowski, of ESPN, reported that there are multiple teams expressing desires for potential Westbrook acquisition, with the Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons and the New York Knicks emerging as potential candidates.

With that said, let’s take a look at the possible pros and cons for each of these teams if they somehow come up with a deal to land the enigmatic superstar point guard.

Miami Heat

Pros: The Heat gets a bona fide superstar to play alongside newly-acquired wingman Jimmy Butler. The Westbrook-Butler pairing is going to be one of the if not, the most electrifying duo in the Eastern Conference.

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NBA Los Angeles Lakers

They are going to be entertaining with alley-oops and in-your-face dunks galore. Expect the Heat to be in playoff conversation right away with these stars at the forefront. Is The Heat a championship contender? Perhaps they can compete for a title at some point, but that will not happen unless Riley can surround these two with capable shooters and matured role players.

Cons: Having two high-maintenance players share the backcourt, the risk for a disastrous locker room meltdown can’t go any higher.

Westbrook and Butler are highly emotional and misunderstood guys in the NBA. Thus, there will be chemistry red flags everywhere. They aren’t going to back out from any confrontations, which is a big problem for any coach (here, wishing the best for Erik Spoelstra) who would dare to handle them. Another thing is both of these stars have massive contracts, It would take advanced cap gymnastics and a bit of Riley’s old magic to put a decent supporting cast around these two for a long run.

Detroit Pistons

Pros: Heard of the infamous Lob City a few years ago?

If you do, then the Detroit Pistons of Lob City would be even more dynamic if they can pair Westbrook with Blake Griffin. Imagine Westbrook driving hard into the lane only to find Griffin taking off from the baseline for an emphatic alley-oop slam. The Palace of Auburn Hills would be rocking to see that sight! While it would probably take another star for Detroit to reach their championship potential, getting Westbrook next to Griffin is certainly a positive step going forward. In a wide-open Western Conference, sometimes it just takes a couple of shrewd trade deadline move to turn a sleeper into a legitimate contender.

The Pistons will be in a cusp of something great, should they get him. Dwayne Casey is a good coach and they already have the right talent in place. All they need is a game-changer. Westbrook could fit the bill.

Cons: Although the ceiling is certainly high for a Westbrook-Griffin tandem, the likelihood of a failure is considerably high too. This team can either explode or implode depending on how these stars would mesh on and off the court. Health could also factor in the Pistons’ title hunt. Both Westbrook and Griffin underwent major knee surgeries and only have few years of their athletic prowess left. Another significant injury on either star would close the Pistons’ championship window for good.

New York Knicks

Pros: Acquiring Westbrook means there’s now a reason for Knicks fans to go to Madison Square Garden. Westbrook is a blockbuster draw. He can single-handedly fill in empty seats at the arena, Ever since trading Carmelo Anthony in 2017, the Knicks are craving for a legitimate NBA superstar to become the face of their franchise. This particular desire prompted the front-office to trade Kristaps Porzings to the Dallas Mavericks for basically two max slots. Unfortunately, the Knicks couldn’t even get one marquee free agents. This left them with no choice but to fill out the roster with second-tier free agents and solid veterans.

Sure, Westbrook can’t carry the Knicks to a championship, but at the very least his star power would bring the organization to some sort of relevancy.

Cons: The Knicks should never tie any championship aspirations to Westbrook unless they are able to provide him with at least two co-stars. For now, the worst thing that could happen for the Knicks is for Westbrook to become this black hole of a personality that impedes the growth of their young players like RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson. Other than that, with tempered expectations, Westbrook appears to be a good pickup for the Knicks.

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