Sport: The Rockets' trade for Russell Westbrook is a gamble they had to make - PressFrom - United Kingdom

SportThe Rockets' trade for Russell Westbrook is a gamble they had to make

09:00  12 july  2019
09:00  12 july  2019 Source:

Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Thunder send star to Rockets for package including Chris Paul

Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Thunder send star to Rockets for package including Chris Paul The Rockets did trade Chris Paul and the Thunder did trade Russell Westbrook.

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder are searching for trades after Paul George orchestrated his way out of Washington Wizards. Does a straight up John Wall for Russell Westbrook trade make sense? They would also have to trade those players to other teams, then siphon the assets off to

Westbrook suddenly became the center of trade rumors after the Thunder traded Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers. With no clear path to title According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, the Rockets are interested in trading for Russell Westbrook , but a source inside Houston’ s organization believes

The Rockets' trade for Russell Westbrook is a gamble they had to make © Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In their second apocalyptic roster move of the week, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, reuniting Westbrook with his old Thunder teammate James Harden and closing the book on the OKC almost-dynasty. The move was simple for the Thunder: Cut bait on a team that was no longer a contender — and not even a playoff team after dealing Paul George. They collected their eighth(!) future first-round pick of the week and are already working on rerouting Paul and his massive contract to a new team. But for the Rockets, this is a huge roll of the dice, when the odds aren’t necessarily in their favor.

Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Rockets pursuing three-team deal for Thunder guard

Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Rockets pursuing three-team deal for Thunder guard The Heat seem to be the favorite to land Russell Westbrook with the Thunder guard now on the trade block, but the Rockets aren't giving up just yet. Houston is looking to execute a three-team deal in order to acquire the eight-time All-Star, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst. NBA TRADE RUMORS: These five teams could pursue Russell Westbrook "I will say this — the Houston Rockets are trying to get in on this," Windhorst said on "SportsCenter" when asked by Cari Champion about a Westbrook trade. "They're trying to get in and possibly do a three-team trade where they could get their hands on Russell Westbrook.

Russell Westbrook has hit the NBA trade market following Paul George' s departure from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Houston Rockets have been a popular topic of conversation this offseason, as there have been rumblings about the roster potentially being shaken up. And when Westbrook ’ s name popped up as a possible trade option, it wasn’t surprising to hear that the Rocket had an interest, as ESPN’ s Tim

First, the positives. Russell Westbrook, 30, is significantly younger, healthier and more athletic than 34-year-old Chris Paul, who’s missed more than 20 games in each of the last three seasons. Westbrook won the MVP, the scoring title and averaged a triple-double just two years ago. He makes the same amount of money as Paul, though his deal runs one additional year, when he’ll be making $47 million at age 33. Westbrook and Harden have a history of success together, reaching the NBA Finals in 2012 alongside Kevin Durant. They draw a tremendous amount of fouls, with 600 combined last season. (Paul drew 42.) And Westbrook tends to play his best when motivated by revenge or perceived slights. Witness his MVP campaign after Durant’s departure from OKC or when he won All-Star MVP in 2015 after being snubbed as a starter. Imagine the intensity if the Rockets match up with George’s Clippers in the playoffs!

Russell Westbrook pens heartfelt goodbye to OKC after trade to Rockets

Russell Westbrook pens heartfelt goodbye to OKC after trade to Rockets "I can’t even begin to put into words all of the emotions I have right now," Westbrook wrote. "It’s been one heck of a journey Oklahoma!"

The Houston Rockets are trying to land PG Russell Westbrook in a 3 team deal, per Windhorst. Windhorst didn't seem optimistic about the Rockets ' chances, noting that it would have to be a three-team deal and that those sort of trades are extremely hard to pull off.

Heard that Westbrook could possibly be traded after this Paul George. Would you do this trade Really, there are SO many ways to make this trade with the contracts Pat Riley has on his books. But the Trade Machine likes it for Dallas! Maybe we can trade Westbrook to someone else later.

The downside is that Harden and Westbrook have similar strengths and weaknesses. Both rack up triple-doubles, rebound well from the guard position and get lots of assists. (Westbrook led the league last season, and Harden was seventh.) They’re great at getting to the basket, and they score at a high rate when they get there — Harden made 60 percent of his shots within three feet, and Westbrook was at a career-high 65 percent. But both tend to fall asleep on defense, they’ll shoot their teams out of games in the playoffs and they’re more comfortable initiating the offense themselves. Westbrook is far more erratic than Paul, but his highs are higher and his lows are lower.

Houston’s motivation might not be adding Westbrook as much as it is subtracting Chris Paul. Though Paul and general manager Daryl Morey both denied that Paul’s relationship with Harden was “unsalvageable,” this deal indicates that CP3's reported trade demand and Harden’s “Trade Chris Paul” demand were real. And there were few teams that could handle Paul's giant salary, particularly with seemingly half the league hard-capped after last week. Playing with Paul seems exhausting, with his constant haranguing of the referees, opponents, coaches and his own teammates. It should make the Rockets much more watchable since they’ll only have one guard flopping all over the court trying to draw fouls, instead of two.

Trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook makes Rockets 'a better team'

Trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook makes Rockets 'a better team' Houston's decision to trade Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook makes team owner Tilman Fertitta excited.

Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Oklahoma City Thunder speculation includes Phoenix Suns. Tyler Johnson' s expiring deal is a ready- made salary anchor. The Suns can flesh out the package from there using Rubio, Frank Kaminsky or even Kelly Oubre Jr. (assuming he re-signs), and they also have

You’d figure any Rockets trade for Westbrook would have to include Paul going the other way, though MacMahon noted that might be the case. Despite that , it ’ s hard to imagine that the Rockets would want three point guards with cap hits exceeding million — Westbrook , Paul and James

Despite their big assist totals, Harden and Paul don’t particularly pass to each other — 87 percent and 86.1 percent of their shots were unassisted, respectively, as opposed to Westbrook’s still-high 74.8 percent. Harden will likely take turns with Westbrook more readily than with Paul, which should drive down his gaudy statistics. He’ll likely never win another MVP trophy or star in another State Farm commercial, but he should have more energy in May. Westbrook shoots far worse than Paul, particularly from three, so Houston has to hope that more spacing will help his accuracy, and the Mike D’Antoni system will cure his addiction to long twos (35.8 percent of his shots, as opposed to Harden’s 1.8 percent). The dream scenario is Westbrook attacking closeouts by driving past defenders (something Paul can’t do anymore) and hitting open Rockets on the perimeter. The nightmare scenario is Westbrook launching a series of 20-footers five seconds into the shot clock, while he and Harden give up open threes and backdoor cuts for layups.

The Rockets may have felt like they had no choice but to move Paul, but it’s a huge gamble. Even with all the talent moving to Los Angeles, had Houston as easily the top regular-season team in the West before the trade. Westbrook is going to contribute more during the regular season, but at least on paper, Paul’s defense, shooting and ball security (best assist-to-turnover ratio in NBA history) are more valuable in the playoffs. But that assumes Paul is healthy during the playoffs, or that last year’s struggles weren’t the beginning of a steep decline.

Ultimately, the trade comes down to Houston’s fear of the Paul-Harden feud escalating — and of paying a 36-year-old Paul $44 million in 2021-22. Is that worth two future first-rounders and two pick swaps? If Houston can finally get over the playoff hump and make the Finals, it absolutely is. And if the Rockets don’t, Morey’s probably not going to be the Houston GM once the trade bill comes due.

NBA championship odds 2020: Odds for Thunder, Rockets adjusted after Russell Westbrook-Chris Paul blockbuster.
The latest NBA megatrade left everyone's head spinning. Here's how the Vegas odds have moved in wake of the deal.

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