Russell Westbrook will always be a polarizing figure in the NBA. He is one of those players you either love or strongly dislike. One of the most athletic players in the game, he has the potential to take over any game. But should he?
Sam Presti’s career will be defined by the decisions he makes this summer. After being eliminated from the playoffs by the Utah Jazz its time to plan for the future and there is one question that has a cascading effect on all other decisions. Can I build a winner around Russell Westbrook?
The Utah Jazz just showed that it seems team sports require a team approach and shooting 43 times in a game does not resonate as a team-first spirit to me. It doesn’t even matter that much that Westbrook only made 18 of those 43 (42%), the fact that that was his go-to strategy in a game 6 of the playoffs tells you how he is built, and Westbrook has always been a ‘what you see is what you get’ guy. I think Paul George is going to pass on that and take his business elsewhere. You know Magic and Pelinka were watching that game and smiled with every Westbrook shot.
Westbrook’s max deal starts next year and his services will cost you $35 million. Melo has a $28 million player option and after this season; that’s an amount he is not getting on the free agency market. Steven Adams is at $24 million and Andre Robertson is at $10 million
So, you have Westbrook, Melo, and a few good players with a total payroll of $116 million. Sounds like a contender? Yeah, time to call around the league…