Del Negro: Westbrook Would "Buy Into" Riley, Heat

Russell Westbrook is a worthwhile gamble for the Miami Heat, Vinny Del Negro says

Tiki and Tierney
July 09, 2019 - 7:11 pm
Russell Westbrook Thunder

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The Miami Heat are reportedly interested in acquiring Russell Westbrook, and former NBA player and coach Vinny Del Negro believes that’s a good idea.

“If he gets traded to Miami, there’s a way that Miami goes about their business and he’s going to buy into that,” Del Negro said on Tiki & Tierney. “I think Russell is going to play the way Russell plays. Obviously he turns the ball over, (but) he can be dynamic, he can do athletic things that we probably haven’t seen – triple-doubles with his size. His knee would be a concern, but you look at his minutes, you look at his explosiveness – 90 percent of him athletically is better than most guys’ 100 percent. 

“I just think when you can get these guys, you have to get them,” Del Negro continued. “I understand the question marks there, but at the end of the day, he’s too good of a player to pass up.”

Two stars – Kevin Durant and Paul George – have left Westbrook for greener pastures, but there’s no denying Westbrook’s talent. He has averaged a triple-double in three straight seasons.

“I think having a structure like Miami will be beneficial to him,” Del Negro said. “Having structure with Pat Riley gives that a little bit more credence for him. Russell is a winner. He wants to win, he’s going to compete, he’s going to do some things that (make) you scratch your head positively and negatively. But overall, I really am a big fan. I love guys that compete. I love guys that lay it on the line. He’s going to mistakes. He’ll take the heat. He’ll say he’s got to play better, he’s got to lead better, but I like guys that give it to me. I can live with the rest.”

Click below to listen to Del Negro’s interview in its entirety.