After Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook got in a small disagreement during a 98-95 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies last night, the talk about the young stars simply not being able to co-exist was taken to another level.
While Oklahoma City media and the Twitterverse talked about the need to trade Westbrook - which, of course, is nothing new - ESPN's J.A. Adande has proposed an exchange involving the Golden State Warriors: Westbrook for Stephen Curry.
I didn’t see anyone mention the best idea: to Golden State for Stephen Curry...From Golden State’s perspective, Westbrook is a better defender than Curry, and that should count a lot for the new-look Warriors. (Believe it or not, Mark Jackson’s squad is among the top 10 defenses for fewest opponent points allowed so far.) And Westbrook is more likely to cause sprained ankles than suffer as many as Curry has
Adande lays out his thoughts about why the trade would work for the Thunder as well, but before going further there are at least two additional tidbits of information that Adande's article omitted:
- First - in support of Adande's point - there were folks in Oklahoma City who wanted to draft Curry over James Harden in the 2009 NBA Draft. So for those that still wish that had happened, now they can dream about having Curry and Harden while exiling the guy who shouts at Durant! Perfect.
- But second - throwing a monkey wrench into Adande's schemes - is that the Warriors were reportedly reluctant to part ways with Curry in a deal involving former New Orleans Hornets star point guard Chris Paul (who has since become a member of the Los Angeles Clippers and almost single-handedly beat the Warriors in the fourth quarter on opening night) during the lockout-shortened free agent period. Personally, I find it difficult to believe that the Warriors would hesitate to move Curry for Paul and then turn around and move him in a deal involving Westbrook, which makes the whole idea moot.
Since folks around here have already started discussing Adande's proposal (click here and here) we'll leave further analysis of it at that for now. But since we're on the subject of the rumors about the negotiations between the Warriors and the Hornets for Chris Paul, we might as well just throw out an alternative similar to that which the Warriors reportedly posed to the Hornets: Westbrook for Monta Ellis.
Without going on at length, GSoM'er Missing Barry has already pretty much summed up what an Ellis - Westbrook exchange might bring the Warriors: a relatively similar offensive player who is a better defender (and in being longer, possibly a much better defender given the Warriors newfound interest in putting out effort on that side of the court).
But does any of that really make sense for the Warriors? Sure, Westbrook might offer more defensively than Ellis, but that still leaves the team with similar problems defensively. If they're going to trade Ellis, should they hold out for more? Or, after a rather impressive start to the Mark Jackson (career win percentage: 66.66%) era, might it simply be better to stand pat with this unit and see what they can do?
This really isn't even a rumor at this point - it's a topic of discussion that Curry and the Warriors are suddenly entangled in, regardless of how unlikely it is to come to fruition. And honestly, I find the whole "controversy" to be overblown.
Nevertheless, since it's been put out there, we know you have opinions to share and critiques to offer those that believe this trade is the best idea nobody's talking about . So vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments.
For those interested, the Thunder are also playing the Dallas Mavericks on TNT right now, which will probably put a microscope on every single glance Durant and Westbrook make at one another. Check out SB Nation's storystream for updates on the game.