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I asked multiple team scouts and executives for their thoughts on Westbrook the past two days. Not one of them showed much interest, with one saying: “It’s hard to see a natural fit around the league.” When I shared that intel with another league source Tuesday morning, he joked: “Keep looking.”
ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Oklahoma City Thunder star point guard Russell Westbrook and his agent had “engaged” with the front office to discuss the “next steps of Westbrook’s career,” which could include the trade of the eight-time All-Star. […] I immediately sent a text to someone who would know if the Detroit Pistons would be interested. I received a coy response. “What would you give up?”
Westbrook will make $38 million next season, so the initial thought was the Thunder would have to take back Andre Drummond’s $27.1 million as part of any package. “They would want picks. They have (Steven) Adams, no interest in Drummond. Doubt there is anything there.”
Of course, it didn’t end there. The Athletic reported late Saturday night that the Pistons and Miami Heat “are very real possibilities” to land Westbrook. My journalistic duties require me to reach out to persons with firsthand knowledge of the situation, and two sources say there is nothing in the works. “Ridiculous,” a league source texted. “Nothing there.” Later in the text exchange, the source asked: “What would be the teams that want him?” he wrote.
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July 19, 2019 | 9:30 pm EDT Update
Harris said his father/agent had arranged meetings with other teams, but those never came to fruition because the Sixers’ deal got done. Harris referred to a potential Knicks’ meeting only as a “what-if.’’ Asked what he expects from the Knicks this season, Harris was dismissive. “I don’t play for the Knicks,’’ he said. “I don’t care about the Knicks. I’m not going to waste my energy.”
“I wasn’t surprised,’’ Harris said of the Durant/Irving signings. “You heard a lot of rumblings before about it. I didn’t know for 100%, but if I had to make my guess, I would’ve said Kyrie and Kevin were going to the Nets. Kind of all season long you heard different rumblings. That would’ve been my educated guess.”
The Washington Wizards have made Tommy Sheppard their permanent general manger, league sources confirmed to ESPN on Friday. Sheppard has held the job on an interim basis for the past three and a half months.
Candace Buckner: Also, The Post has learned the #Wizards have had preliminary talks with Cleveland Cavaliers defensive coach Michael Longabardi as a potential addition to Scott Brooks’s coaching staff. Details coming soon
July 19, 2019 | 8:13 pm EDT Update
Tim MacMahon: Mavs guard J.J. Barea has opted to take a cautious approach in his recovery from a ruptured Achilles instead of pushing to play for Puerto Rico in the World Cup. Barea is encouraged with his progress but has accepted that rushing to play in less than 8 months isn’t worth risk.