NBA Rumors: Russell Westbrook Headed To San Antonio Spurs In Exchange For Kawhi Leonard?

Jason Fletcher

When Kevin Durant announced on July 4 that he would be leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors, attention instantly shifted to Durant's former teammate, Russell Westbrook. Now, Westbrook is entering the final season of his contract in 2016-17, and there's a decent chance that Russell will decide to sign elsewhere next summer.

The Thunder have talked to Westbrook about a contract extension, but he's been adamant about not signing anything this summer. This put Oklahoma City in a tough spot as the team risks losing Russell for nothing if he decides to leave next summer. At the same time, general manager Sam Presti might get run out of town if he trades Westbrook after just losing Durant to the Warriors.

The situation has led to some major trade rumors out of Oklahoma City concerning Westbrook. Presti has reportedly spoken with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and San Antonio Spurs regarding Westbrook, according to Adam Joseph of SB Nation. Of course, the Thunder don't want to trade Russell, but Presti may be forced to play his hand if Westbrook doesn't want to sign an extension.

It's unclear what the Bucks offer would look like for Russell Westbrook, but we at least have an idea of what the other three teams would send to Oklahoma City. The Celtics' package would likely center around one of the Brooklyn Nets' first-round picks they got in the trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, plus at least two of the foursome that includes Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas or Avery Bradley.

As for the Lakers, any trade would have to begin with D'Angelo Russell and either Julius Randle or Brandon Ingram. By trading Westbrook, the Thunder would need a point guard for the future, and Russell would instantly fill that role. The Lakers would be the best trade partner for the Thunder, but some reports indicate that the Lakers may choose to wait until 2017 to go after Westbrook in free agency and not have to give up anything.

On the surface, the Spurs don't seem like a team that would have enough to offer the Thunder for Westbrook. Outside of Kawhi Leonard, there really aren't any young players or draft picks that would entice the Thunder to send Westbrook to San Antonio. That being said, Brayden Neubauer of SB Nation's Pounding the Rock mentioned in a recent article that Presti actually asked for Leonard in return when the two sides spoke.

— SA Spurs aggbot (@SpursofSA) July 24, 2016

"There are whispers that Presti has contacted the Spurs about moving the point guard down south that we and others have heard. Don't get too excited though, Spurs fans, because the asking price was reportedly Kawhi Leonard."

On the surface, it would seem like a relatively fair deal as both Westbrook and Leonard are top-five NBA players, but there's a number of reasons why the Spurs will never go for this deal. The first of those reasons would be Westbrook's contract expiring after next season. Leonard is on a team-friendly contract for three more seasons.

Another reason would be that Leonard is two-and-a-half years younger than Westbrook. Leonard just turned 25 and is already the face of one of the winningest franchises in sports. Westbrook is 27 and will turn 28 in November, and he has never been the face of a franchise.

— Morning News USA (@MorningNewsUSA) July 26, 2016

There's absolutely zero chance that Westbrook will get traded to the Spurs for Leonard, but it gives us an idea of what Presti will be asking for in return if he ends up dealing Russell Westbrook.

[Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]

ALL CONTENT © 2008 - 2021 THE INQUISITR.