1. Miami Heat
If there is one team that can talk itself into maximizing Russell Westbrook and then actually go out and do it, it is the Miami Heat. This is not to say that Miami would bring back MVP Westbrook or would find a brand-new version of him, but Erik Spoelstra is the one coach that could confidently take on this project and actually succeed.
Heat culture is a very real thing as we have seen it too many times to pretend that it is a coincidence. When it comes to the trajectory of his career, the Heat are probably the best stop for Westbrook as it could reignite some value in him.
If this were to work then Westbrook would have to buy into a completely different style of play than the one he has played his entire career wth. This truly would be the immovable object meeting the unstoppable force and it would be great to see play out on the court.
But if you are Miami, there is no reason to not do this deal. They were not in a position to sell like the Bulls but they also haven’t been great this season either. The Heat are currently the sixth seed and are barely hanging on from being the in the play-in.
The Los Angeles Lakers have two picks in the 2023 NBA Draft even after the trade deadline. In this NBA mock draft, LA targets wings to bolster the roster.
A first-round exit may be in the cards for Miami and with that in mind, the front office should be more willing to take a risk and see if they can break this Westbrook code that nobody else has been able to break. If it doesn’t work then they will be in the same spot that they would have been in any way.