NBA Rumors: Russell Westbrook recruiting Kristaps Porzingis to play for Thunder?By / 2016.09.12
Rumors abound that Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook could be recruiting New York Knicks' super-sophomore Kristaps Porzingis as the two players were spotted working out together in a sports facility in the Big Apple.
Kurt Helin of NBC Sports' Pro Basketball Talk reported that Thunder teammates Westbrook and Enes Kanter recently worked out with the 7-foot-3 Latvian big man as well as with two other Knicks rookies Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Willy Hernangomez. Cleveland Cavaliers defensive ace Iman Shumpert was reportedly there as well.
Although a personal preseason workout between NBA players usually does not mean any more than that, speculations still went out that Westbrook and Kanter could be looking to recruit Porzingis to join their side while other rumors think it was the other way around.
Helin was quick to clear up, though, that "a preseason workout doesn't mean Westbrook is coming to NYC in two years" as he attempted not to raise the hopes of the Knicks' faithful in his article.
Meanwhile, Chat Sports Net indicated that Westbrook might be planning a new Big Three formation with Porzingis and Shumpert in Oklahoma City as the team begins the post-Kevin Durant era.
The report said that Westbrook is aware that "in a league as tough as the NBA, one superstar is not enough to carry a team" and so the two-time All-Star Game MVP "might be recruiting New York Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis and Cleveland Cavaliers' Iman Shumpert".
Shumpert will definitely improve the Thunder's defense on the wings, something that head coach Billy Donovan certainly needs after losing Durant this summer. Shumpert's numbers does not necessarily show his value on the court, but it is his defense, hustle, and drive that makes him an effective player.
Porzingis is one of the most promising young players in the NBA right now and he could be a potential sidekick for Westbrook in OKC. He is odd for his size as he also has a smooth shot from long range and the report even described him as a "strange hybrid of Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Garnett".
The 21-year-old Latvian can definitely grow to become one of the premier scorers in the league, which could be enough to help fill the scoring void Durant left in OKC.
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