Russell Westbrook and the Thunder took another pounding Monday night, this time at the hands of the Wizards. They’re now 7th in the West with 26 games left in the season. Despite Russell Westbrook’s absurd triple-double rate, it’s clear to anyone with two eyes that Oklahoma City isn’t going anywhere until it gets another superstar.
What if the Thunder can’t find a wingman for Westbrook in the coming years?
Here’s something to consider, buried in a lengthy piece on Bleacher Report about Anthony Davis of the Pelicans:
Thad Foucher of the Wasserman Media Group, the same agency that represents Russell Westbrook, is Davis’ agent. A source close to Davis’ agent floated the possibility that the end game could find the two uniting in Los Angeles with the talent-starved Lakers. Those kind of rumors are the ones that expand into panic when a team flails like the Pelicans have in the last two seasons.
The Pelicans are a far bigger train wreck than the Thunder. They’ll miss the playoffs for the second year in a row, and it feels like all they have to look forward to in the immediate future is 23-year old Anthony Davis and the hope of landing a star in the lottery. All of that, of course, is quickly followed by: So, where will Anthony Davis end up?
Because surely Davis has been looking around at the rest of the NBA during his five years in the league and seeing that stats are hollow if you have zero playoff wins.
But here’s why it’s way too early to speculate about a Davis/Westbrook union in LA – or anywhere: “Davis is under contract through at least 2020” according to ESPN. I get the excitement about the potential, but the most obvious thing to me is: Why would Davis stay in the West when the East has a much easier path to the Finals?
A lot can happen in three more seasons after this one – hell, Davis could have another coach or two – but even using that time frame, the Warriors Big 4 should still be in their prime. Is Gregg Popovich going anywhere?
The franchise right now that should start planning for Davis is Chicago. That’s where he grew up, and it’s in the vastly inferior East, and Jimmy Butler is only 27 now and entering his prime with a poor supporting cast. As long as the Bulls can figure out a way to build around Butler without further alienating him in the coming years, why not the Bulls?