A blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook could cost Miami Heat all of their assets. Is the move worth it?
Disgruntled or not, the Miami Heat fanbase has become known for thinking, hoping and wishing that every star in the league is available to their team.
Making one of these deals happen could come down to anything from giving up the remaining pieces of their young core (Justise Winslow, Bam Adebayo or Tyler Herro) to Miami trying to package the contract of Goran Dragic. Look beyond that though.
Is Westbrook a good fit for Miami and Jimmy Butler?
That would never be a question for a player like Beal. He is the star that can spread the floor with his 38 percent three-point shooting while being comfortable enough to quietly play second fiddle if he has to.
On the other hand Westbrook has been labeled the type of alpha personality that runs other stars (like Kevin Durant and Paul George) away. Not that far off from the alienating narrative that has been tied to Butler in his previous three stops with Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose in Chicago, Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota and, to a lesser extent, Joel Embiid in Philadelphia.
Beyond talent, the best way to describe both would be ornery, confrontational and aggressive. Now ask yourself if Pat Riley would have it any other way?
These player types have been the Riley mold since his New York Knicks days. So why would it not work if both players embody the culture mystique that the Heat preach. After all, what is culture without talent?
Think Udonis Haslem’s mentality with a versatile enough game—in Westbrook’s case to —give you statistics in the range of his three-year average of 26.6 points, 10.5 rebound and 10.6 assists in a weaker conference like the East.
Off of numbers alone, this is an opportunity that is justly being explored. From a culture standpoint, it is also a match. Yet, apprehension comes when it boils down to gutting the team. And rightfully so.
The NBA has become a two-star a team league, but to do more than compete, the Heat need to hold on to something complementary.
But even if they cannot keep everyone they want, Westbrook and Butler will do more than keep tails in the seats during the post-Dwyane Wade era.