A Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets trade has officially taken place.
After plenty of speculation surrounding the multiple-time NBA All-Star and former NBA MVP, Westbrook will join the Houston roster alongside former teammate James Harden.
In exchange, the Oklahoma City Thunder will get veteran point guard Chris Paul and a good amount of future picks for the foreseeable future. Here are the particulars of the Westbrook trade involving the Rockets and Thunder.
Wojnarowski reports Westbrook Rockets trade
As one might expect, the busiest man in NBA behind-the-scenes reports was the first to announce the Russell Westbrook Rockets trade to the masses.
Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted out the word of the deal on Thursday (July 11). A full story on the NBA trade appears at ESPN.
Longtime NBA star point guard Chris Paul will become the new leader for the Thunder with Westbrook’s departure. Paul, who has been in the league for 13 years, brings averages of 18.5 points, 9.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game to OKC.
The trade will also send draft picks to a rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder team through 2026. Two of them are first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, which is quite a horizon for the team to build with.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, pick swaps in 2021 and 2025, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2019
In a follow-up tweet, Wojnarowski mentioned per sources that this was a preferred destination for Westbrook to be reunited with James Harden.
However, analysts will probably be quick to start asking about sharing the ball and who will really run the show for this Houston Rockets team.
Houston Rockets outlook with Westbrook
Previous Westbrook rumors suggested the potential for a move to the Miami Heat or Detroit Pistons to join their All-Stars. This Russell Westbrook trade to Houston creates another “Big Two” of NBA All-Stars in the Western Conference.
An Anthony Davis trade was one of the first moves to take place, bringing him to join LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster.
The big blockbuster news with Kawhi Leonard signing with the Los Angeles Clippers after they worked out a trade for OKC’s Paul George was one of the next dynamic duos to form. Now, Westbrook joining Harden is another.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 12, 2019
Last season, Houston failed to live up to expectations after a near NBA Finals trip in 2017-18. The team finished last season at fourth-place in the West with a 53-29 record.
They’d ultimately bow out in the playoffs to their rivals, the Golden State Warriors, in a quicker-than-expected playoff series.
Now they have two of the last three MVP winners in the league with the combo of Westbrook and Harden. “The Beard” averaged 36.1 points, 7.5 assists, and 6.6 rebounds a contest.
He was also amongst the three finalists for the 2019 NBA MVP Award, ultimately losing to Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Westbrook has averaged a triple-double for each of his past three seasons in the league. For the 2018-19 NBA season, the All-Star guard had averages of 22.9 points, 11.1 boards, and 10.7 assists per game.
Ahead of the trade, the Vegas Insider site had Houston listed as a 12-1 favorite to win the NBA Finals next year. That had them tied with the Golden State Warriors for fifth overall trailing the Clippers, Bucks, Lakers, and 76ers.
With this Russell Westbrook trade, it should be interesting to see how those NBA future odds change, and what sort of record projections this team gets from the media.