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The Miami Heat are a team to watch if the Oklahoma City Thunder decide to trade star point guard Russell Westbrook, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Meanwhile, a source told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald that the Heat “absolutely like” Westbrook and likely the idea of pursuing him in a trade.
Added veteran NBA reporter Chris Sheridan: “I am hearing that (Westbrook) to Miami has legs … sturdy ones. But gotta make the money work, and that will not be easy.”
The Heat recently acquired star swingman Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers and team president Pat Riley continues to be aggressive in search of winning. While missing the playoffs this season, the Heat clearly don’t believe in tanking for better lottery spots.
Instead, they go after and often land players such as Butler, and perhaps, Westbrook.
“Russell Westbrook at 30-years old is still a high-level player, but is a lot of money and he’s going to take up a great deal of your salary cap,” Wojnarowski said during an ESPN broadcast at summer league.
Wojnarowski first reported that the Thunder and Westbrook are trying to determine their future together after the team agreed to trade Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers this weekend. In return, the Thunder received a bevy of first-round picks, as well as forward Danilo Gallinari and second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti has not made any firm decision one way or the other on Westbrook, sources said.