RudeBlog
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It was a team destined for great things and they didn't exactly disappoint. But they also didn't meet all their expectations

 

Coming off a near upset of the would-be champion Lakers last, many thought this team was only going to get better, some even predicting the Finals. Despite falling one-round short, the Thunder proved they can compete with the big boys.

 

 

But, late in the season, a rift seemed to develop between Westbrook and Durant, leading to their eventual loss in the Finals. If Westbrook can't learn to share the ball and learn that Durant is the star, these team won't go any farther than they did this year and with Daquen Cook being their only free agent (a restricted one at that), this team can do something special.

 

 

Trades

 

Thunder get - Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers
Heat get - Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins, DeQuan Cook

 

This is a very interesting scenario because, for as crazy as it might be, it could happen. Like I said in the Heat blog, Bosh could be taking some blame. And Westbrook is obviously the one taking the blame in OKC.

 

So with this trade, Westbrook steps in and assumes the PG role in Miami as well as Perkins at the center. As for the Thunder, they get Bosh with Harden and Durant. Chalmers is no scrub either and Maynor proved he was capable also.

 

Thunder get - Josh Smith, Jeff Teague
Hawks get - Russell Westbrook, Nate Robinson, BJ Mullens, Royal Ivey

 

I mentioned in the past ATL's need to shake things up. Acquiring Westbrook would do just that. They could send Smith and Teague, yet gain energy in Westbrook and Nate.

 

Both these trades are assuming that things between Westbrook and Durant become unbearable. And if it does, Westbrook is leaving, not Durant

 

 

Free Agency

 

Shane Battier - This team has one issue: a back-up SF. With Battier on the market, he can come in and play some minutes at the 3, provide defensive energy, and give the team a veteran presence that they are really lacking.

 

 

Kenyon Martin - This team could also use a little toughness and would benefit from a PF on the team not being Nick Collison. Kenyon is about as tough as they come. And again, he's a veteran who has been around the loop

 

Grant Hill - Think Shane Battier, only older. He still has something left in the tank and I could see him heading to OKC for one last shot at that ring. He'd be willing to take the paycut and could give this team a steadying force

 

 

Draft Targets

 

24th pick - Kyle Singler, SF, Duke - If they don't get Hill or Battier, they'll look for the same thing in the draft. Singler brings some outside shooting, a little bit of a post game, and solid defense.

 

 

Final Analysis

 

In the end, a trade isn't necessary. Singing Battier or Hill should be. This team is a couple veterans and one squashed argument away from being a title contending team. Westbrook and Durant will get their beef squashed and figured out and I fully expect this team, with one more year together, to be in the same spot or better next year.
June 17, 2011  01:36 AM ET

I wouldn't do trade A if I'm OKC. Bosh for $16 mil a year? No thanks.

Still hoping for a Westbrook-Paul swap.

June 17, 2011  02:23 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I wouldn't do trade A if I'm OKC. Bosh for $16 mil a year? No thanks. Still hoping for a Westbrook-Paul swap.

Also if Westbrook cannot co-exist with one superstar, how will co-exist with Lebron and Wade.

Comment #3 has been removed
Comment #4 has been removed
June 17, 2011  10:34 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

I'm intrigued by the 2nd trade scenario.

WHAT!?

There is no way the Thunder can afford to give up Royal Ivey!

June 17, 2011  12:28 PM ET

All your draft targets on teams you are fixing are Dukie's?

June 17, 2011  01:54 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

All your draft targets on teams you are fixing are Dukie's?

I noticed that too.

Also the same players are being traded in each one (Smith, Teague, etc.)

Other than that, great job Rude. Its a very good read

June 17, 2011  02:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I noticed that too.Also the same players are being traded in each one (Smith, Teague, etc.)Other than that, great job Rude. Its a very good read

There aren't many options to trade. I can only work with players that appear to be tradable

June 17, 2011  02:27 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

All your draft targets on teams you are fixing are Dukie's?

I've listed a Dukie twice out of 7 picks. Not all

June 17, 2011  05:21 PM ET

Russell Westbrook Lebron and Wade all do the same thing. Drive to the hoop and score. Getting rid of Bosh would set that team back. Better off waiting til the Clippers let Blake Griffin walk so he can return to Oklahoma. lol

 
June 18, 2011  12:01 AM ET

Gotta keep Russ. Way to early to give up on the duo of him and Durant.
They're ridiculously young and the pressure seemed to get to Westbrook (his assist numbers were great in the season). I think you have to take your chances at this point... Russ/KD could be legends together.. the potential is there.

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