Potential Fits for Russell Westbrook

When the news broke early Monday morning that Kevin Durant would not be returning to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook surely felt mixed emotions. The 5 time all-star often strived when KD was battling injury, which helped him become recognized as one of the leagues best. Yet at the same time, the departure of Durant leaves the Thunder without a predominant second scoring option, and may leave them shorthanded come playoff time.

It was only a short few hours after Durant announced his move to the Bay Area, when news came out that Westbrook was not planning to sign an extension with the Thunder. The 2008 4th overall pick earns just north of 16 million dollars a year, yet he, like many others, believes he should earn the maximum. Whether the Thunder choose to move Westbrook before next year's deadline, or he chooses to sign a huge deal in the offseason, he will most likely not be playing in a thunder uniform come 2017-18.

As far as potential suitors for the star point guard go, I see there to be three good fits for him, whether it is by sign or trade.

1. Los Angeles Lakers

History and family roots aside, the Lakers have a young core that supports the play of Russell Westbrook. The Los Angeles Lakers have been the league's trademark organization thanks to the likes of Kareem, Magic, and most recently, Kobe Bryant. The fame and recognition would go hand in hand with the lifestyle Westbrook possesses and with young stars like Brandon Ingram and D'Angelo Russell, this destination is prime. (Not to mention Russell grew up and played basketball his whole life in California.

2. Dallas Mavericks
It has been a few years since the Mavericks have had a young point guard that can score like Westbrook. The Mavs have recently inked Lifetime Maverick, Dirk Nowitzki, to an extension and as his age climbs, he could use a strong supporting cast. Money would not be the issue with the Mavs, who have since parted with Chandler Parsons and have room to ink Westbrook to the money he wants and deserves. I wouldn't expect the Mavs to be trade candidates, rather I see them to be more active during the free agency period. \

3. Chicago Bulls
Seeing the Bulls on this list may come as a surprise to some due to the recent signing of Rajon Rondo, but I see this as a potential long term solution to fill the shoes of, once MVP, Derrick Rose. Now, I would not bet on the Bulls going out of their way to pursue Westbrook via the trade, yet pounce on the opportunity to sign him if the chance presents itself. With Derrick Rose off to the Big Apple, the signing of the aging Rondo was a play to fill his shoes while they work on a replacement. The core of players in the Windy City is now young and revolving around emerging superstar, Jimmy Butler. With the big city pressure looming, and surely the cap space and pocket depth, watch for the Bulls to be the darkest of horses come time.