Things are not looking for the Houston Rockets coming into the new season. Last season was disappointing for a team aiming for a significant push in the playoffs, thinking a dynamic duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook would finally create a winning culture in Houston. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, and it was evident many things were missing when it comes to team chemistry. They didn't play well, and there was a lot of iso ball that led to dissatisfaction among several team members, not just Harden and Westbrook.
Because of that, former NBA player Kendrick Perkins suggests the Rockets should trade both Harden and Westbrook and just 'blow the whole thing up'. While making an appearance on ESPN's show First Take, Perkins argued, Westbrook already made his mind by requesting the trade, and the Rockets won't get much out of that trade to keep Harden or remain relevant in the playoff contention.
It's time to blow this whole thing up. Russell Westbrook is already gone, and he is not coming back. Once he requested a trade, and I know Russell Westbrook, and he is done. If you are James Harden, you can't stay there and see what are you going to get back in return because it's not going to be someone who is going to put you in the title contention or someone they will get the equal value to bring in back Russell Westbrook that is going to help you win a championship.
Kendrick Perkins, via First Take
When Westbrook joined Harden and the Rockets, there was a notion two of them could work together because of their experience playing together in OKC. That was far away from the truth. They are both accomplished players from an individual standpoint, and the only thing that is missing is an NBA title. They are not getting any younger, while their appetite for a championship is bigger than ever before, and apparently, that can't be accomplished with the Rockets.
Both of these guys are at the point of their careers where they accomplished everything individually. They got the MVPs, scoring titles, and the only thing left for these guys is to win a title. Once you trade Russell Westbrook, you are not going to get back anything, so James Harden is not going to sit around and be waiting on a rebuilding process so if I'm James Harden, once Westbrook is traded, I'm talking to the owner, GM and the coaching staff saying my time is up, it's time for me to go, I need a new destination where I can go and compete and win a title. They need to trade both of them, so it's time to blow it up.
Kendrick Perkins, via First Take
It will be interesting to see what will happen in the upcoming weeks with the Rockets and what moves their front office will make coming into the new season. Maybe it's not too late to keep this team together because it takes time for teams to build chemistry, and having both Westbrook and Harden automatically makes them a playoff-contending squad if they are both healthy. Maybe the solution is to get different role players around them, but a decision to pull the plug and start with the rebuilding process is also valid. Nevertheless, exciting times are ahead of the Rockets, who have many options and could potentially get a lot out of trading both Harden and Westbrook.