Some interesting Russell Westbrook trade rumors have surfaced, suggesting the Houston Rockets could move the star point guard before the NBA trade deadline. Would that help get James Harden back on track?
When the Rockets acquired Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder, it seemed like a move that was intended to push the team over that bump in the Western Conference. Instead, it hasn’t worked out as well as they had hoped.
There was a time when Westbrook and Harden played very well together on the Thunder and nobody could blame the Rockets’ brass for trying to resurrect that partnership. Well, actually, maybe a lot of fans do blame them.
Ryen Russillo of The Ringer has stated that he thinks Westbrook is available. He has also stated that he feels Rockets general manager Daryl Morey would trade anyone on the roster. Maybe anyone not named James Harden?
In the updated NBA standings, the Houston Rockets are at 21-10 and hold the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The team is just three games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the best record in the West, but also only one win ahead of the Dallas Mavericks for one of the top four seeds.
A 21-10 record isn’t exactly struggling and there are a lot of teams that would love to be in this position. At the same time, many NBA analysts feel that the current roster of the Rockets would have trouble in the postseason against the Lakers, L.A. Clippers, and Denver Nuggets. Then there are also the improved Mavericks lurking.
— Rockets Nation (@RocketsNationCP) December 22, 2019
Russell Westbrook contract situation
The veteran point guard will earn $38,506,482 this season and is due $132,633,438 over the next three NBA seasons. That’s a lot of money and it makes Westbrook a very difficult player to trade unless the Rockets brought back a lot of salary in return.
On the season, Westbrook is averaging 24.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 7.1 assists per game. He is shooting 42.6 percent from the field, a rough 23.8 percent from three-point range, and is playing 35.3 minutes per night for the Rockets.
Counting down the best NBA moments of the decade!
#5: Russell Westbrook concludes the 2016-2017 season averaging a Triple Double!
31.6 PPG, 10.4 APG, 10.7 RPG
BUT, that wasn't enough. He would go on to finish the next TWO seasons after, averaging a Triple Double as well! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/wcTfxvCR5z
— FH🏀 (@ForeverHardwood) December 28, 2019
During his last game, which came against the Golden State Warriors, Westbrook was 11-of-32 from the field for 30 points. That included going 0-of-8 from three-point range.
But maybe not everything is bad? Westbrook has three triple-doubles in December and the team has beaten the Clippers and Toronto Raptors this month. It’s possible that he is getting more comfortable on the court with Harden again — which would keep the front office from getting desperate to make a move.
📺: ABC pic.twitter.com/8a19hQ5Awn
— NBA (@NBA) December 25, 2019
Is a Russell Westbrook trade even realistic?
There is a huge difference between a player being available in a trade and that player actually getting traded. Sure, there are a lot of teams that would love to have Russell Westbrook on the roster, but very few that could give up the assets and still compete this season.
If Ryen Russillo is correct about Westbrook being available, then that’s just the first step toward something actually taking place. With the recent NBA trade rumors about the L.A. Lakers looking to improve, it has also created some chatter about how fun a lineup of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis could be for the fans.
This will be an interesting situation to watch as the February NBA trade deadline gets closer, especially if the Houston Rockets encounter more struggles against top teams in the West.