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SportDoes anybody win in Paul for Westbrook swap?

08:55  12 july  2019
08:55  12 july  2019 Source:   thescore.com

AP source: Russell Westbrook going to Rockets for Chris Paul

AP source: Russell Westbrook going to Rockets for Chris Paul LAS VEGAS (AP) A person with knowledge of the situation says the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, a shake up of top point guards and a move that reunites Westbrook with James Harden. The Thunder also are getting first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, plus the right to swap first-rounders in two other seasons, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because the trade has not been announced. ESPN first reported the agreement.

The trade reunites Westbrook with James Harden, with whom he played during their early years He literally has to do everything. I think we can all appreciate the passion he has for the game and the Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta spoke of the blockbuster trade, thanking Paul for his two years in

Two of those players - Russell Westbrook and Paul George - play together, and their combined efforts are a big reason why Oklahoma City's forcing turnovers at a higher rate than anybody else in the league.

Video by USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another blockbuster transaction in the NBA, as the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder swapped future Hall of Fame point guards Thursday evening.

After a season of reported discontent between Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, the Rockets shipped Paul - along with two first-round draft picks and two more pick swaps - to Oklahoma City in exchange for Russell Westbrook.

From a team-building perspective, the trade is a coup for the Thunder. Sam Presti somehow turned Westbrook's contract - which has up to four years and roughly $171 million remaining on it - into Paul's slightly less damaging three-year, $124-million pact and control of Houston's first-rounders in 2021, 2024, 2025, and 2026.

After Russell Westbrook trade, the Thunder now have an absurd amount of draft picks

After Russell Westbrook trade, the Thunder now have an absurd amount of draft picks After Russell Westbrook trade, the Thunder now have an absurd amount of draft picks , general manager Sam Presti reportedly continued the team's rebuild by trading Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul ... and a somewhat less absurd amount of draft picks.

Russell Westbrook III (born November 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

It did not take too long for sports insiders to discuss the best landing spots for the former MVP. The Heat is reportedly interested in pairing Westbrook with their recently acquired All-Star, Jimmy Butler. “Move on to the Knicks! They need him more than anybody ,” Pierce emphasized.

If you're keeping track at home, Presti has turned Westbrook, Paul George, and Jerami Grant into 12 first-round picks or pick swaps between 2020 and 2026 within the span of six days. Remember, too, that in addition to acquiring its point guard of the future, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, from the Clippers in the George deal, Oklahoma City also landed Danilo Gallinari, whose offensive skill set and $22.6-million expiring contract should easily fetch the Thunder another asset or two.

Presti can also dig into that treasure trove of assets to entice a contender to take Paul's contract off their hands (Pat Riley, line 1), which would complete OKC's rapid, stunning pivot into a full-blown rebuild.

From a shrewd business perspective, the Thunder make off like bandits. However, the truth is that no one involved in this deal emerges victorious.

The Rockets' Trade for Russell Westbrook Reeks of Desperation

The Rockets' Trade for Russell Westbrook Reeks of Desperation Once you get over the shock Russell Westbrook landing on the Rockets and reuniting him with James Harden, the deal seems a little desperate on Houston's end. There's a chance Chris Paul and Harden could no longer work together, but this fix feels more impulsive than opportunistic.

Paul George locked eyes with an Oklahoma City-based reporter as he answered his question about His reaction wasn't malicious, but he wasn't going to tip-toe around his support for Westbrook . “I think anything he does is just amplified,” George said of Westbrook , “and if anybody knows Russ on

It’s hard to disagree with Paul George after last night. Russell Westbrook lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 120-117 win over the Atlanta Hawks Friday night after drilling a 3-pointer with under two seconds left in the game.

Does anybody win in Paul for Westbrook swap?© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Joe Murphy / NBA / Getty Images

With George and Westbrook in the fold, the Thunder had reason to believe they would be a factor in what was shaping up to be a wide-open title race - so long as Kawhi Leonard snubbed the Lakers - as recently as a week ago. That Presti and Co. managed to lay the groundwork for a reconstruction project so quickly is impressive, but it doesn't change the fact that a proud organization that's remained competitive and relevant in a small market for a decade must now face some sobering realities.

Ask fans in Oklahoma City if they feel like winners right now.

Westbrook's departure marks the end of an era in OKC, where the Thunder filtered through a dizzying array of stars over the years in an unsuccessful attempt to return to The Finals. Westbrook, George, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Serge Ibaka, Victor Oladipo, Steven Adams; no combination was ever able to replicate what Durant, Westbrook, Harden, and Ibaka did in 2012, when the young Thunder won the West.

After trade, Russell Westbrook shows love to Paul George on Instagram

After trade, Russell Westbrook shows love to Paul George on Instagram Russell Westbrook showed love to Paul George on Instagram following his ex-teammate’s trade to the LA Clippers. George posted a photo of him with his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates on Instagram Saturday, along with a farewell note following two seasons with the team. “Thank you Oklahoma for 2 great years, you took me in as one of your own from the day I touched down. Thank you to the fans who make representing those 3 letters mean something. Thank you to Sam and Clay for being the best management a franchise and player could ask for.

Russell Westbrook talks about his All-Star teammate Paul George after the win over the Utah Jazz: “Real balanced, under control, took open shots, knocked them down and played at his own pace, he’s aggressive when he plays at He gets any shot he wants and can score on anybody in this league.

Nobody “needs” Westbrook . But the Jazz are already equipped to win without him, and in a new way. What about a Donovan Mitchell- Westbrook swap ? Mitchell is just the kind of rising young star the Thunder could rebuild around, and the Jazz would get a superstar.

That was supposed to be the beginning of a long, magical run, not the pinnacle of one. Such is life in the modern NBA, where nothing can be taken for granted, and championship windows close faster than ever before.

Whatever remained of Oklahoma City's championship foundation burned to the ground when Damian Lillard walked the Thunder off with a 37-foot bomb in April, and Leonard made a surprising homecoming pitch to George in July.

Does anybody win in Paul for Westbrook swap?© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

The Rockets, meanwhile, will remain competitive in an ever-changing title chase fuelled by an unpredictable arms race, but that doesn't make them winners.

Harden and Westbrook haven't shared an NBA court as teammates in more than seven years, and it's tough to think of a worse backcourt fit for The Beard than The Brodie.

Westbrook is a sublime playmaker who's averaged 10.4 assists per game over the last four seasons, but he hunts his own offense more than Paul ever did and is nowhere near as useful or wise off the ball as Paul.

At its best, the Harden-CP3 combo worked despite both preferring ball dominance because both star guards could shoot, and both were incredibly efficient in isolation. Westbrook, on the other hand, is a career 30.8 percent 3-point shooter who's bricked his way to 29.3 percent on 4.8 attempts per game over the last two years. He's also too stationary without the ball and produced just 0.75 points per iso possession last season.

Report: Russell Westbrook, Thunder discussing possibility of trade

Report: Russell Westbrook, Thunder discussing possibility of trade The Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook are at a crossroads, and both sides may be ready to move on. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Westbrook’s agent, Thad Foucher, is discussing Westbrook’s next steps with Thunder general manager Sam Presti. One of those steps could be exploring trade possibilities, with both sides recognizing that the time may have come after an 11-year partnership to explore external possibilities.

" Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, are engaged with Thunder GM Sam Presti about the next steps of Westbrook 's career, including the possibility Not only is Westbrook 's salary crippling for the Thunder, but they also have already secured their point guard of the future in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Russell Westbrook - Career stats, game logs, biographical info, awards, and achievements for the NBA and NCAA. 7/7 The Heat are a “team to watch” in the Russell Westbrook situation, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said today during the network’s broadcast of a Summer League game (video clip).

Westbrook's shot selection can be downright deplorable, and it's hard to envision a volume shooter as historically inefficient as Russ aging with grace while his once-in-a-generation explosiveness slowly evades him.

Is there value in Westbrook's relentlessness, speed, playmaking, and rebounding? Of course. Is it all worth $171 million over the next four years, including a $47-million player option for his age-34 season in 2022-23? Absolutely not.

That's what makes this move so puzzling for Daryl Morey and the Rockets. In swapping out one declining point guard for another, Houston ended up with the worse contract, the more ill-fitting player for Mike D'Antoni's preferred style of play, and yet still surrendered control of four first-rounders in the process.

How does that happen?

Reports suggest Harden implored the Rockets to swoop in for Westbrook, but was the risk of hunting a better fit and potentially irking Harden really worrisome enough to be worth punting such a significant chunk of the franchise's future?

Westbrook and Harden may get along better than Paul and Harden did, but the point is to win. The Rockets are no more equipped to do so today than they were yesterday, yet their asset base is a lot more barren.

Does anybody win in Paul for Westbrook swap?© Provided by Score Media Ventures INC Andrew D. Bernstein / NBA / Getty Images

And then there's Paul.

Thunder reportedly will look to trade Chris Paul

Thunder reportedly will look to trade Chris Paul Spending the remainder of his career on a rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder team cannot be what Chris Paul had in mind. Paul was traded to OKC on Thursday as part of a shocking deal that sent Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for a pair of first-round picks and two pick swaps. The Thunder have dealt away Paul George and Westbrook over the last week, accumulated draft picks, and are in clear rebuilding mode. They have no use for an aging point guard like Paul, who would prefer to compete for a championship.

Chris Broussard debates Colin Cowherd on Russell Westbrook 's MVP win , discusses where Paul George might land and more. SUBSCRIBE to get all the latest

While Westbrook averaged a triple double for the second consecutive season, Oklahoma City did not live up to expectations and now must answer several questions this offseason. Can a team build around Russell Westbrook ? That one sticks out from the rest and the Open Floor podcast crew discusses

The man earned his Point God moniker for the otherworldly talents that separated him from the pack, even in a golden age of point guards. Now, one of the game's feistiest, prickliest competitors heads to an uncertain future in OKC without a single Finals appearance to his name and in obvious decline.

Paul has missed 69 games over the last three seasons, suffered a hamstring injury that derailed Houston's title hopes with a 3-2 series lead on the Warriors in the 2018 West finals - his only conference finals appearance - and is coming off an age-33 season in which he shot worse than 42 percent from the field.

His reputation as a playoff loser was always unfair given his own individual postseason excellence, but the Rockets being unable to win a single game against the wounded, Durant-less Warriors this spring with the series tied 2-2 doesn't help.

Paul's best shot at a title remained in Houston. Whether by his own stubbornness or Harden's - or a combination of both - that bridge has now officially burned, and there's no clear alternative route to the promised land.

The two L.A. teams don't appear to have the assets or contracts required to trade for Paul, and the remainder of legitimate West contenders all have point guards in place. Unless one of Milwaukee or Philadelphia can find a way to rescue him, CP3's next destination might come with a lot more postseason mediocrity.

There are always losers to be found in NBA blockbusters, but rarely does a deal of this magnitude produce no clear winner.

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Does anybody win in Paul for Westbrook swap?

NBA: Thunder's Russell Westbrook traded to Rockets for Chris Paul.
Russell Westbrook has been traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets in a deal for Chris Paul and draft picks, according to ESPN.

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