Like last year, probably the most anticipated matchup of the upcoming 2016-2017 NBA season will be between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. But, it seems the Cavs are planning on countering the force of the Warriors and Kevin Durant by acquiring his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate, Russell Westbrook.
When Durant left OKC earlier this year to join Stephen Curry and the rest of the Warriors, NBA fans expected to hear Westbrook to lash out at him. Although he did not blast Durant for leaving the team, he reportedly made a subtle jab at his former teammate through an Instagram post on July 4.
The post featured cupcakes on a multi-level tray. Although this may seem like a harmless post, Sports Illustrated noted that it might be a criticism on Durant. The site noted that when free agent Kendrick Perkins was still with the Thunder, he often used the term "cupcake" to refer to players that were a bit soft.
Apparently, the Instagram post was Westbrook's way of calling Durant soft for joining the Warriors.
Given the bad blood between these two athletes, the Cavaliers could capitalize on this by acquiring Westbrook through a trade. That way, the Cleveland franchise would have sort of a counter weapon against Durant in an attempt to neutralize the super team.
Of course, since OKC offered Westbrook a contract extension worth $85.7 million, the team will probably demand a high trade value from the Cavaliers.
Although it is still not clear who the Cavs might give up, the team currently has a surplus of shooting guards that it can afford trading a way. In other words, the Cleveland organization could offer Iman Shumpert, Jordan McRae, Kay Felder or Markey Brown in exchange for Westbrook.
If the trade does happen, it will most likely not be a straight-swap. Depending on who the Cavs will offer, the team could also include a draft pick for next year.
Placing Westbrook in the Cavs' roster will certainly be an interesting move for Cleveland since this will only strengthen their lineup in preparation for the upcoming season, which will kick off on Oct. 25.