Houston Rockets Are Trading Russell Westbrook
The Houston Rockets are trading Russell Westbrook, it appears.
Coming into this NBA season Houston made headlines when the team opted to trade veteran point guard Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Westbrook.
On its face, the deal sort of made sense. James Harden and Paul were reportedly beefing, whereas Harden and Westbrook have been good friends dating back to their days on the Thunder.
The one big question everyone had, though, was how their styles were mesh.
Whereas Paul is a pass-first point guard who fit seamlessly alongside Harden, Westbrook needs the ball in his hands to be effective.
Surely enough, the Westbrook and Harden marriage has not gone as planned.
Thirty one games into the year, the Rockets 21-10 and fresh off a humiliating loss to the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day.
Worse yet, Houston is clearly a worse team this season than it was last.
According to Ryen Russillo of the Ringer, Rockets brass is now looking to trade Westbrook – presuming he can find the right deal.
“I think Westbrook is available,” he said.
“We can talk about semantics Of course, Daryl Morey would trade anyone if he thought it made his team better.
“Of course, he would trade Westbrook if he could get off of that long-term money, if he thought the assets, the sum of the parts was better than having somebody that’s considered a top-10 player.”
Russillo firmly believes that just because Morey isn’t publicly showing his cards, does not mean he isn’t looking to deal Westbrook.
“Is Daryl Morey actively calling people, saying, ‘Hey, I’ve got to dump Westbrook?’ Well, of course, he wouldn’t do it that way,” he continued.
“But there are people who believe Westbrook is available and that Daryl knows, ‘I’ve got to figure something out here.’”
The big issue with dealing Westbrook is his massive contract. He is earning $38.5 million this year and is due more than $132.6 million over the next three years.
Will anyone really want to step up and take on that financial burden for a guy who could not meaningfully improve a team as good as the Rockets?
That is going to be the big question over the next few weeks.
Michael Kyaw, initially a PR Manager, built up a valuable network of connections in the sports world that he then utilized to become an influential sports business reporter. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, Fansided, ESPN and the Wall Street Journal.