What is it about lousy California NBA owners dreaming too big?
The Kings have a superstar talent in DeMarcus Cousins. Before he tore his Achilles, Rudy Gay provided Sacramento with decent production and blunt assessments of the franchise. And then, if you asked Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, Russell Westbrook somehow enters the picture.
One league insider says Ranadive told him some months back that he aspires to assemble a big three in Sacramento, with Russell Westbrook joining Cousins and Rudy Gay.
There’s nothing wrong with aspiring to add Westbrook. Every team in the NBA would love to have the MVP candidate.
But it’s important for teams to realize their place when building. Aiming too high can result in falling completely flat.
To be fair, it’s unclear how realistic Ranadive believed acquiring Westbrook to be. This could’ve just been a hope rather than a implemented plan.
It’s also unclear whether this was before or after Westbrook signed a contract extension with the Thunder.
If before, Westbrook trade rumors were swirling in the wake of Kevin Durant leaving for the Warriors. Still, the Kings lacked assets beyond Cousins and Gay to send Oklahoma City in a potential trade. Sacramento was short on valuable players, and it could trade just 2-3 future first-round picks. Even if those picks somehow formed the best offer and the Thunder – confident that the Kings would pick high in 2021 and 2023 – accepted, would Westbrook really re-sign in Sacramento a year later? Relinquishing all its expendable assets to trade for Westbrook would have probably been for Sacramento than not not getting him at all.
If after Westbrook’s extension, a trade went even further out the window. Westbrook is now set to become a free agent in 2018, but the idea of him leaving Oklahoma City to sign with the Kings might be the most far-fetched of any possible scenario.
Overall, I’m not sure what’s funnier – Ranadive believing the Kings could get Westbrook or believing Gay is good enough to comprise a third of a big three.