Thunder explored blockbuster trade with Raptors involving Westbrook, George

Thunder trade Paul George to Clippers land Shai Gilgeous Alexander

This offseason, George approached the Thunder about a trade to the Los Angeles Clippers following a recruitment pitch from Kawhi Leonard.

That's when he told the Clippers that he wanted to play with Paul George, the Oklahoma City Thunder star and SoCal native.

The Leonard-George switch to LA has raised many intriguing prospects for the National Basketball Association - not least the future of Russell Westbrook. His four-year, $170 million contract proves to be a bit of an obstacle, however.

According to reports from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Thunder GM Sam Presti spent the evening leveraging both the Clippers and Raptors' desire for Leonard.

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The Heat recently acquired star swingman Jimmy Butler from the Philadelphia 76ers and team president Pat Riley continues to be aggressive in search of winning. It was something other teams were aware of, which helped make the trade a reality. That piece from Dawson at The Athletic outlines how the PG trade with the Clippers made the most sense for the Thunder and why trading Russ now makes a lot of sense. In return, the Thunder received a bevy of first-round picks, as well as forward Danilo Gallinari and second-year guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

The fourth overall pick in the 2008 National Basketball Association draft, Westbrook has spent his entire 11-year career in Oklahoma City, averaging 23 points, seven rebounds and 8.4 assists.

While Westbrook leaving the team that appears to have been loyal to him all throughout his entire National Basketball Association career sounds a bit surprising at this point, sources claimed that the Heat, on the other hand, has been chasing a number of National Basketball Association stars since they managed to trade for their new superstar, Jimmy Butler.

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