We’re less than a month into the 2020-21 NBA regular season and roster moves are starting to feel like a game of musical chairs with the name of Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook now being floated in trade rumors. However, recent betting odds suggest he’ll still be a Wizard by the trade deadline.
According to newly released betting props from Sportsbook, Westbrook has +650 odds (13.3 percent implied probability) to be traded before the proposed March 25 deadline, with the odds of him staying put coming back at -1400 (93.3 percent implied probability).
Despite their acquisition of Westbrook, who’s averaging a near triple-double, the Wizards have struggled this season and sit at 3-8 SU through 11 games.
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As far as which team is likely to trade for the former NBA MVP, oddsmakers have the New York Knicks with the best odds at +150 to be Westbrook’s next team, followed by the Boston Celtics (+275), Portland Trail Blazers (+300) and Brooklyn Nets (+375).
Will Russell Westbrook Be Traded?
Odds as of January 18 at Sportsbook
At this point, it’s hard to disagree with oddsmakers about whether Russell Westbrook will be dealt before the annual trade deadline. The point guard’s impact in Washington could be up for debate but the reality is that the Wizards are not going to get an equal return if they move on from him during the season.
In Westbrook’s defense, he has only played seven games with the Wizards so far and while they’re 1-6 SU in those games, it’s not solely his fault that Washington can’t defend. The Wiz are allowing 121.3 points per game this season (ranked 29th) and a lot of that is the result of being consistently outmatched down low.
The Wizards are 26th in the NBA in rebound differential while allowing opponents to shoot just over 51 percent in the paint. Say what you want about Russ but his presence alone wasn’t going to change the fact that Washington may have the worst collection of forwards in the league and just lost starting center Thomas Bryant for the season.
At this point, the Wizards may still decide to move Westbrook at the deadline just to get any assets they can to facilitate a rebuild around Bradley Beal. But a move likely won’t happen until the offseason when the list of potential suitors for Westbrook will grow.
What Team Will Russell Westbrook Be Traded To?
|New York Knicks||+150|
|Portland Trail Blazers||+300|
Odds as of January 18 at Sportsbook
The main reason you can’t simply say a Westbrook trade isn’t going to happen is because of the team that is the favorite to acquire him and that’s the seemingly revitalized New York Knicks. The Knickerbockers are the favorites to be Westbrook’s next team via trade with +150 odds. This prop isn’t limited only to the trade deadline and would also apply to a deal in the offseason. However, hear me out on why the Knicks could grab the point guard before the March deadline.
At 6-8 SU through 14 games, this is the best the Knicks have looked in years to start a season. Players like Julius Randle and RJ Barrett seem to be finding their footing in the Big Apple, and given the franchise’s desperation to be relevant, New York’s ownership group (cough, James Dolan, cough) could push for a Westbrook trade as a move to get them back onto the front pages.
Look at what’s happening in Brooklyn. The Nets are now the hot ticket in the Tri-State area and not the Knicks. This move wouldn’t just be a talent acquisition but also a power play so they’re not considered an afterthought in a major market.
Point guard Immanuel Quickley has been great for the Knicks early in the season but he’s still just a rookie and likely won’t impact winning the way that Westbrook could at Madison Square Garden.
Do I think the Knicks should make this move? Hell, no. Do I expect the Knicks to swallow their pride and stand pat while the Nets move into NBA championship territory? Absolutely not. Don’t sleep on the Knicks being the Knicks and making this type of trade while giving out an absurd amount of draft capital to the Wiz in return for Westbrook.