I have no idea who is playing on which team anymore. All the podcasts have been talking about 6 – 7 player that was on All-NBA teams changed teams this summer. Add Anthony Davis to that. It is now obvious that the player empowerment era is also the team volatility era. While this summer was extreme in how many players were free agents, this trend of player movement will not slow down.
It was reported by who else than Woj and Royce Young that OKC was trading Russell Westbrook to Houston for Chris Paul two protected first-round picks (2024 and 2026, both protected Nos. 1-4) and two pick swaps (2021 and 2025).
The moment Paul George was traded, we knew Westbrook would be leaving OKC as well. There was no point in paying the luxury tax for a team that’s not going to be competitive in the playoffs. Add the young talent and draft picks they got for George, and a rebuild was the logical way to go. But, while we heard a lot about Miami and scenarios around Dragić and Olynik were being widely discussed, things were different behind the scenes.
OKC wanted to honor their relationship with Russell and send him to a team he wants to play for. While we thought it would be Miami, Russ had his eyes set on Houston from the get-go. In a standard procedure for these days, Harden and Westbrook talked, decided they like the concept and told their GM’s “make it happen.”
If there were ever an “only one ball” problem, the Rockets would have it now. Westbrook and Harden are as ball dominant as they come. They both don’t believe in off-ball movement, and both consider defense their rest time. This will be interesting.