Russell Westbrook: Is He A Better Pick Than Kevin Durant

In this article I will be comparing, from a Fantasy Basketball perspective, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant. The players have been compared many times by other people in the past and today we’ll go over who they predict to do better and why!

The analysis is done with the assumption that each player goes in the 4th round of a 10 team league.

Background Information on Westbrook and Durant

Russell Westbrook was drafted by Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, being selected 4th overall. Since then he has dominated the team’s point tally, leading them to the playoffs every year even without his partner in crime, Kevin Durant. Westbrook has averaged 22+ pts 6+ assists and 4 rebounds per game in his career, including 8 triple doubles (which is impressive for him). He is by far the most stylish player on OKC and one of the best point guards in the league today.

On the other hand, you have Kevin Durant who was drafted by the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2007, being selected 2nd overall. In his career he has averaged 25+ pts 7+ assists and 5 rebounds per game. Of course you all know that these two have been playing together for a long time now and have dominated ever since they joined forces in 2010. KD is also one of the most well-rounded players in the league and is a sure shot pick.

I believe that Durant is able to outperform Westbrook in Fantasy Basketball because of his contributions on both offense and defense. While I wouldn’t say that Westbrook isn’t stylish or anything, KD does have more assists than him which is very beneficial when you’re building your team. But the big vote goes to Kevin because of his ability to play at least 2 positions (both SF and PF). This makes him a better pick than Westbrook, who only plays SG.

Did Westbrook Play for the Sonics

Well, no. But prior to the 2008-09 season Westbrook started playing for Oklahoma City Thunder instead of Seattle Sonics after he was picked fourth overall in the NBA Draft.

Russell vs Durant Career Stats

  • Seattle Sonics Career Stats (pre 2008)

Kevin Durant was drafted as a rookie by Seattle and he played there for 9 years before they moved to OKC and became the Thunder. He averaged 20 PPG, 4 RPG and 3 APG during his tenure in Seattle.

  • Oklahoma City Career Stats (post 2008)

Now Westbrook averages 22 PPG 7 APG 4 RPG for OKC. Kevin Durant does even better than that with 25 PPG, 8 APG and 5 RPG per game since 2010 (the year they started playing together).

Russell Wesbrook in Lakers Uniform

In all honesty, I would say that Westbrook has been a better Laker than Durant. In the 2010-11 season he averaged 26 PPG 10 APG 4 RPG and 1 SPG. The same can not be said about Kevin’s time in LA as he only averaged 23 PPG 3 APG and 5 RPG.

The Future of the Los Angeles Lakers with Russell Westbrook

Although it’s no secret that Westbrook loves his hometown LA, I don’t think the Lakers are his next destination. Sure he can play there but at this point in time it doesn’t have a good enough roster to win championships. That being said, you should definitely consider drafting Russell if he becomes available around 4th or 5th round because he has a very high ceiling and contributes in every category.

The Pros and Cons of Picking Westbrook over Durant

The Pros:  

  • Westbrook is a better defender than Durant and he also has more steals (1.9 SPG)
  • He averages 1 3PTM per game and has a shooting percentage of 46%.

The Cons:  

  • KD is able to play at least 2 positions, while Russ can only play SG. This makes KD a better pick since he can be used as a SF and PF.
  • Westbrook is an inefficient player who takes too many shots to score 22 PPG, this ruins his FG% (41%)
  • He only gets 4 assists per game compared to KD’s 5+ APG

Durant Is The Better Pick

In truth, Durant is a better pick than Westbrook. He has more contributions that help your team and he is able to play at least 2 positions (both SF and PF) which makes him a very versatile player for Fantasy Basketball purposes. Even though KD only averages 0.6 SPG, this isn’t much of an issue since you can utilize him as a SF and PF.

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