The people calling for Russell Westbrook to be traded after the Thunder were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals are just plain crazy. In the end up on Horders kind of way.
Westbrook is one of the best young point guards in the league, and while he made mistakes he and the team are growing. He is eligible for a contract extension once the lockout ends and he should get one the first second the Thunder can offer it up. Young stars like him are hard to come by. OKC was on the doorstep of the finals and all their core players are 22 or younger. You don’t change things.
Don’t just take my word for it, take Kevin Durant’s. He spoke with Marc Spears of Yahoo.
“We butt heads just like any other players because we are both competitive, we both want to go at it, we both have ideas,” Durant said in a phone interview with Yahoo! Sports on Saturday while on the movie set of his upcoming Warner Bros. film, “Switch.” “That’s going to happen. But I support him 100 percent. Of course, I hated when people were saying the stuff they were saying, and he hated it as well. I didn’t want it to get to his head. I hate when people try to creep into the group and try to break things up….
“I don’t want any other point guard,” Durant said. “He’s perfect for us, the type of guy he is, the type of player he is, the type of teammate he is. We’re all competitive, especially me and him. We get the best of each other in practice every day, and we want to go at each other and make each other better. We are going to have disagreements. That’s what all good players on good teams do.”
Westbrook does need to learn to lead better from the PG spot, work on rounding out his game as a distributor. But he also has done that — Game 7 against Memphis was a perfect balance.
And he was 22 last season. There is a lot of room to grow. That’s why you don’t make big changes — and if things continue on the path they were on, there are titles in this team’s future.