The Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook are reportedly ready to split after Paul George was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. The Miami Heat are seemingly one of the few teams interested in acquiring the point guard and his massive contract.
Getting a deal done, however, might not be so easy.
A source has told Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald that Oklahoma City has asked Miami to include two of their three most promising young players—Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo and Justise Winslow—in a trade offer. The Heat don’t appear to have any interest in doing so, resulting in a stalemate in trade talks, according to Jackson.
Jackson has reported that Miami specifically is reluctant to give up Herro and opposed to dealing Adebayo.
Herro, 19, was selected No.13 overall by the Heat in the 2019 NBA Draft. He has impressed in Summer League, averaging 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 29.5 minutes per game over four contests.
Adebayo, 21, was taken with the No.14 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He played all 82 games for Miami last season, averaging 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 23.3 minutes per game.
It’s unknown if Miami is willing to trade Winslow. He averaged a career-high 12.6 points per game last year.
Winslow or Goran Dragic would likely have to be involved in any potential offer in order to make the deal work under the salary cap restrictions. Dragic will make $19 million next year before hitting free agency.
The Heat can’t trade a first-round pick until 2025. The Thunder own Miami’s first-rounders in both 2021 and 2023, though the latter is lottery protected.
Miami is, at the moment, still looking for valuable pieces in return for Westbrook instead of just salary cap relief.
The Heat can’t go above the $138.6 million luxury tax apron because they acquired Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade, complicating matters further. Miami’s payroll stands at $135.8 million, according to Spotrac.
A third team might have to be involved to make a Westbrook trade work.
Westbrook is set to make $38.5 million next season when he’s 31 years old. The eight-time All-Star has a player option for $47 million for the 2022-2023 season.
Westbrook is set to make $171 million over the next four years.