The rumor du jour is that Russell Westbrook could be traded and the Celtics would be the "frontrunner" to get him. Here’s where we started earlier today.
Howard Beck reported on Bleacher Report the following:
What I'm hearing here in Las Vegas from some GMs: Not only do they think Westbrook will get traded, but that it'll be sooner rather than later, probably before the season starts, and that the most likely destination right now would be the Boston Celtics. That's not surprising. Anybody following the NBA the last couple of years, we know Boston has been loading up on assets. They have a ton of picks, including great picks from Brooklyn Nets, and a bunch of young players. They have the ability to create a package that could get Westbrook there without giving up key pieces. They could still have Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford who they just signed, they could hold on to Jae Crowder presumably, and add Westbrook to that. That's the concern or the challenge for any team trying to trade for Westbrook: Not only do you have to be concerned about his free agency next summer, and you're going to want some assurance that he'll want to say, but you have to be able to trade for him and still have enough players for him to play with when he arrives."
All of that makes sense, but most of it is common sense too. Maybe this was all just GMs talking in Vegas between games. Who knows?
A little while later, however, we got this tweet from Kevin Nesgoda, who runs Sonics Rising and has league ties through the Save Our Sonics movement.
I’m hearing that the Westbrook to Boston deal is basically in place and now just waiting on the final details to be worked out.— Kevin Nesgoda (@KDN4) July 13, 2016
That certainly got me excited for a while. He indicated in a follow up tweet that it would be the 2018 Nets pick and "odds and ends."
Before we start clearing a space for a banner, however, understand that there’s a lot of distance between rumors and hearing from someone like Woj or Stein that it is a done deal.
Leave it to our resident Celtics beat reporter to douse this thing with some cold reality water.
Sources indicate the Celtics are very much open to major moves, but, while situations certainly remain fluid and they have expressed interest in Blake Griffin and Russell Westbrook in the past, there have been no discussions regarding those players in quite some time.
He goes on to point out the difficult calculus it would take to give up equal value for Westbrook when the team wouldn’t have a guarantee that he’d re-sign at the end of the year. There are some ways the team could work out a contract extension, but I’ll leave it to smarter people than me to explain all that.
So where does that leave us? Well, I think it is safe to say that the Celtics are indeed interested in Westbrook if he’s really available. Beyond that is anyone’s guess at this point.