Westbrook has remained mum, but he and the Thunder have been in communication often since Durant’s departure. Plenty want to hear from Westbrook, but he isn’t going to play out his free agency in the public eye. There won’t be any “I’ll make that decision when the time comes” mediaspeak. It’s not hard to gauge him when it comes to public comments; he’s as transparent as they come. And with Durant now gone, Westbrook understands the gravity of his own choice — he leaves, and the organization burns to the ground in a summer. So he wants to give them clarity to either move on with or without him.
The Thunder are still reeling from the sting of Durant’s decision, and most in the organization have been left jaded by a cornerstone piece saying all the right things and then turning another direction at the last minute. Even with Westbrook’s history of avoiding doublespeak, actions speak louder than words. So the Thunder are pushing for it, and their decision to rescind Dion Waiters’ qualifying offer suggests they’re paving a way to do it.
They already have received plenty of calls about Westbrook, and thus far have told teams he’s unavailable. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, he doesn’t want to be traded. He wants to play next season with the Thunder. It’s the year after that which is in question. There’s a growing belief Westbrook will think heavily about an extension but will first weigh every angle before doing it.
The former Michigan point guard and Naismith Award winner was traded by the Utah Jazz earlier this month. He says his new destination — the Washington Wizards — is a welcome chance to jumpstart a career that seemed to stall as the 2015-16 season wound down. “It was definitely time for a reset,” Burke said. “A lot of the things that happened, I didn’t understand. Just to have an opportunity again, being able to play with an All-Star-caliber point guard in John Wall, I look at it as an opportunity to go deep in the playoffs and win games.”
A series of relatively minor moves by the Celtics has shed greater light on the 2016-17 roster, cooling talk of a big trade for the time being and putting James Young’s Boston future in serious doubt. According to sources, the Celts have reached agreement with free agent Gerald Green, reacquiring the No. 18 overall pick from 2005 on a one-year deal at the veteran minimum of $1,410,598 based on his nine years of NBA service.