Detroit Pistons: Adding Russell Westbrook doesn’t make sense

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

It appears the Russell Westbrook era is all but over in Houston. Should the Detroit Pistons be interested in adding the star point guard?

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice… never mind.  The Detroit Pistons should not have any interest in disgruntled point guard Russell Westbrook.

The Rockets guard has made it known he’d like to move on from Houston, and Detroit seems like one of the organizations he’d consider joining.

Recently the Detroit Pistons hired Troy Weaver as their new general manager.  Weaver joins Detroit’s front office way of the Oklahoma City Thunder, creating an immediate tie to Westbrook.  Weaver is considered to be a spectacular talent evaluator, which also may be intriguing to a veteran guard like Westbrook looking for a fresh start.

Now, there is no doubt that Westbrook remains immensely talented with plenty of tread left on his tires, but Detroit should steer clear of adding Russ knowing the team is in the midst of a rebuild.

The Pistons regrettably took on the massive contract of Blake Griffin that averages upwards of $36 million per season. That deal has two years remaining on it.  If you thought that was an ugly deal, understand this, Westbrook’s contract has an additional year attached to it, and it is far more expensive than Griffins’.

Westbrook’s deal with three years left expires in 2023, and over the next three seasons, it carries a cap hit of $41, $44, and $47 million per season.  If you were against acquiring Griffin, you are indeed against adding Westbrook.  There is no way that Westbrook will be able to generate enough production to justify that type of money; that alone should be the deciding factor whether or not the Detroit Pistons should add the gifted guard.

Some will point to the idea of trading Griffin to Houston in exchange for Westbrook but looking at it from a money standpoint; the team would likely be getting a more productive offensive player but hampering their overall salary cap situation not just in the immediate future but for an additional year.  It just doesn’t make sense.

I will say one thing, Westbrook would be loved by the city of Detroit and its fans due to his freakish style of play.  Westbrook plays like a bull in a china shop, he loves to put his head down and attack the rim, and he isn’t afraid to do a little trash-talking.  He’d be a legend in Detroit, but the move just would not make sense.  If the Pistons were one player away from contending for a championship, I’d be all for it, but they are not.

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I expect Weaver will be eager to build this Pistons team through the draft, biding time until Griffin’s contract expires in two years, and that seems like the perfect time to consider spending in free agency, especially if the organization can stockpile some young talent through the draft over the next couple of years.