NBA trade rumors: Westbrook for Rondo would benefit Thunder

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Russell WestbrookThe Oklahoma City Thunder (12-3) stand atop the Western Conference and should easily win four of their next five games. After having the misfortune of meeting a red-hot Dallas Mavericks team in the conference finals last year, the Thunder have come out looking like a focused veteran team hell-bent on a championship.

However, as the story of the Thunder goes, Russell Westbrook is still causing drama in the locker room that readily gets hyperbolized by the media. Westbrook seems to continually clash with head coach Scott Brooks and subsequently apologize or state that there was not a problem in the first place after the next day’s practice. If it has to be addressed at all, there is a definite problem. It may sound crazy, but there is certainly a more pass-first point guard to compliment the shoot-first Durant. Enter Mr. Rondo.

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Rondo has always been the one who has to defer Pierce, Allen, and Garnett. This has been the first season where Rondo has clearly had to step it up on the offensive side of things for the Celtics. Here are the year’s stats, according to Matt Hollinger’s, so far for the two:

Rondo 15.0 9.4 5.1 19.8 1.6 55.5 11.2 54.0
Westbrook 20.5 5.5 5.0 18.9 2.4 52.3 17.3 23.9

Clearly this numbers crystallize the theory that Westbrook shoots too much and Rondo may still shoot too little. Westbrook’s assist to turnover ratio (A:T) is in the bottom half for point guards this year and was last year as well while Rondo’s, although not the best, was much greater. In assist rate(AR),rate of assists against possessions used, Rondo is fourth while Westbrook is twenty-third. Albeit, Westbrook does score by himself frequently due to his speed and driving ability but, even Derrick Rose is in the middle of the pack and he has to carry the Bulls on his back every night. Rondo’s assist per game average trumps Westbrook’s by four good passes a game, passes which Westbrook doesn’t seem to want to make to his teammates.

The Thunder need a true point guard and Rondo passes much more often, doesn’t turn the ball over as much, and shoots better when he does decide to shoot. Rondo’s defense is also comparable to Westbrook on the defensive side of things with the same agility and quickness, if not slightly faster. Like Pau Gasol to Kobe, Rondo would be appreciated, if not celebrated, in Oklahoma City for deferring to their homegrown superstar. Rondo is also learning to be more aggressive on his currently aging team and could certainly ramp up his scoring if need be, but I don’t think he would need to. This deal would make sense for the Celtics as well. Westbrook is looking for a contract extension and the C’s have both Allen and Garnett coming off the books who, even if they resign, won’t be looking for fifteen million dollar a year deals and would sign for cheap out of loyalty. Boston General Manager Danny Ainge already tried to shop Rondo for Paul and potentially other top point guards this summer and is still probably listening to offers. Westbrook would have the opportunity to be the face of the Celtics and lead the offense and would perhaps listen to Doc Rivers, who was a better point guard than Brooks in his day. Russell is a heady young point guard who wants to be the top dog and Rondo wants to win championships and build something with an dominate established superstar.

If it works you’re not supposed to fix it, but a Westbrook contract holdout, a displeased locker room, and selfish play, could be the only thing standing in the Thunder’s championship quest because it’s certainly not experience anymore.

Eric Eulau is an NBA team writer for The Sports Blitz

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3 Responses to NBA trade rumors: Westbrook for Rondo would benefit Thunder

  1. observer says:

    you need to research.

    the rondo for chris paul was never verified and was quickly shot down by danny ainge when questioned about it.

    it has been reported that westbrook has signed a contract extension worth around 80 million.

    danny ainge just recently came out and said the big 3 (allen garnett pierce) would be available for the right pieces to get younger.

    why on earth do you think he would trade rondo for westbrook?!?

  2. Devonte says:

    Ainge should trade Rondo & M.Pietrus to OKC for Westbrook. Westbrook is an athletic & fast Point Guard who can average over 20 points a game including 9 dimes. Westbrook is a better scorer than Rondo and more aggressive plus he can help the BIG3 get through Miami & Chicago in the Playoffs this year. Ainge still can make good trades to get young players to come off the bench for Boston. Trade A.Bradley & E.Moore to Sacramento for I.Thomas. Trade K.Dooling,C.Wilcox,M.Daniels, & J.Johnson to Minnesota for A.Randolph & W.Ellington. Trade Stiemsma,Pavlovic, & 1st round pick to Houston for H.Thabeet & T.Williams. After the trade deadline Ainge can sign E.House & R.Wallace for 1 year. With this team we will be World Champions and after this season we can go after K.Love and sign him for 5 years.

  3. Aire says:

    i think they should keep westbrook!!!!

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