NBA Rumors: Westbrook Could Sign With East Contender If He's Bought Out

Russell Westbrook's shooting woes have returned to some extent in the last few games (12 of 37 from the field), and the talk of a possible trade from the Los Angeles Lakers isn't out of the realm of possibility just yet. There are still many scenarios being bandied about in the NBA rumor-sphere, but if he is dealt—and ultimately bought out, highly expected of practically any team that acquires him—there's an interesting landing spot being suggested:

Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, while dissecting a number of trade scenarios for the Lakers to consider, says that South Beach could be Westbrook's destination if he were to become a free agent this season. 

If Westbrook is bought out, the buzz around the league has him signing with the Miami Heat.

The Heat have not performed up to their high expectations and standards thus far this season, sitting at 7-11 on a four-game losing streak, in 12th spot in the Eastern Conference. They need some kind of jolt... Would Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra take a chance on Westbrook providing it? 

Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated recently took it in another direction, however, doubting that any team would sign Westbrook if he was bought out after a trade. "Whoever acquires Westbrook in a trade, whether it’s Utah [Jazz] or Indiana [Pacers], Charlotte [Hornets]... they’re not keeping him,” Mannix said. “If Utah acquired Russell Westbrook tomorrow, they would waive him or send him home. He would never play a game for the Utah Jazz. He would never play a game for the Indiana Pacers... If Russell Westbrook doesn’t play for the Lakers this season, he’s not going to play anywhere.” 

In the meantime, the Lakers are on a surprising three-game winning streak, and it's unknown at this point when/if they're willing to pull the trigger on a Westbrook deal.

Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports