A Westbrook Decision Today?
Could this be the day we hear for sure whether Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook is ready to return to action?
Westbrook has been out since having another knee procedure done back on December 26th.
His All-Star teammate, Kevin Durant, may have let the cat out of the bag over the weekend when he told ESPN's Bill Simmons that Westbrook would be back for Thursday night's big showdown with the Miami Heat.
However, the Thunder have been mum on that.
Westbrook was believed to have had a full medical evaluation yesterday and how well he got through that would either open or close the door to a Thursday return.
Durant, though, seemed to already know what the answer would be, so who knows.
The Thunder did not practice yesterday so no members of the team were made available to the media and the Thunder PR staff declined to answer questions about Westbrook's status.
Today the team will be on the practice floor and normally head coach Scott Brooks talks to reporters afterwards, so maybe he'll provide some clarity to the situation.
But after Durant's statement the other day most folks, including the Miami Heat, are assuming Westbrook will play.
The Heat were in Dallas last night beating the Mavericks and LeBron James said after the game he was under the impression that the Thunder would have their All-Star point guard back.
If that happens it'll be the best trade deadline move any team could make.
The return of Russell Westbrook improves the starting lineup and the bench at the same time, because Westbrook provides a threat that few other starting points can match and it moves Reggie Jackson back to his backup role after gaining a lot of experience going up against starters for almost 30 games.
With the NBA trade deadline coming up at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon the Thunder could also bring in a perimeter shooter who can play some defense.
Sources around the league continue to say OKC has been looking in that direction but it would have to be the perfect deal for Sam Presti to pull the trigger.
Clearly the Thunder don't HAVE to upgrade the roster, they already have the best record in the NBA.
But a proven shooter would be a nice addition.
A veteran like Chicago's Mike Dunleavy who's shooting 38 percent from three this season and making $3 million.
Or a younger veteran player like New Orleans' Anthony Morrow, who leads the NBA in 3-point shooting at 48 percent and is making just $1 million this season.
Earlier this morning a report from the Racine Journal in Wisconsin indicated the Thunder may be interested in the Bucks' Gary Neal. Neal played for the Spurs previously and is shooting 36 percent from deep this season. Neal is on the books for $3.25 million this season and again next season.
The Bulls' asking price for Dunleavy might be more than the Thunder would pay but the Pelicans are reported to be shopping Morrow for a draft pick. The Thunder potentially have two first rounders and could give up one of them though no team gave up a first round pick at last year's trade deadline.
Don't expect any kind of blockbuster coming from the Thunder, unless the medical staff signs off on bringing Russell Westbrook back and if that happens, no question it would be the big deal of the day.