Analyzing the Russell Westbrook Trade From Both Teams’ Perspectives
The complete and utter madness that is and has been the 2019 NBA offseason continues…
In the aftermath of Paul George being traded to the Clippers just days ago, Oklahoma City has now traded superstar point guard Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and a series of draft picks.
There are numbers of both short and long-term effects to consider from both sides of this trade, many ways in which this blockbuster move will change the coming years for both franchises involved…
Here, we look at them all.
The Houston Rockets
Really thinking about what Houston just did, essentially trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook, their train of thought actually appears quite simple.
Chris Paul is a blue-collar, hard-headed point guard. Paul is a guy who never puts anything less than 100% of his passion, sweat and tears into anything he does. Even as undersized as he is, Paul is a pest on defense because of his pure grit-and-grind play-style and mindset.
Russell Westbrook is a…
Blue-collar, hard-headed point guard. A guy who never puts anything less than 100% of his passion, sweat and tears into anything he does. Westbrook is a pest on defense because of his pure grit-and-grind play st-
See a pattern?
Westbrook and Paul are the same position, the same type of guys, and have very similar mental-tendencies both on and off the court.
However, one is the 2017 NBA MVP who’s averaged a 27 ppg triple double over the past 3 seasons. The other is 4 years older, inferior in almost every statistical category, and has averaged a missed 23 games per-season since 2016.
Russell Westbrook is a younger, bigger, taller, faster, better version of Chris Paul.
No disrespect to Paul, who is undisputedly one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game, but he’s not the player he once was, and he’s certainly no Russell Westbrook.
- LeBron James & Anthony Davis
- Kawhi Leonard & Paul George
- Stephen Curry & D’Angelo Russell
- Mike Conley & Donovan Mitchell
- Luka Doncic & Kristaps Porzingis
All offseason Houston has sat back and watched a tsunami of spectacular duos form around them. Now, it was their turn. Thanks to Rockets general manager Daryl Morey and his seemingly un-matched obsession with going after star-players, to that list we can now add…
- James Harden & Russell Westbrook
Houston now has a dynamic duo strong enough, when at their best, to compete with the best in the West. Their supporting cast is nothing to scoff at either, with guys like PJ Tucker, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers returning to the squad.
Do not be the least bit surprised if a couple of months from now, Westbrook and Harden are leading the Rockets to one of the top records in the association.
Are Westbrook and Harden enough to bring an NBA championship to the city of Houston?
But do the Houston Rockets now have a significantly better chance than they did just hours ago with Chris Paul?
The Oklahoma City Thunder
By trading away MVP candidate Paul George just days ago, and now Russell Westbrook, the Thunder are essentially saying this:
We were never going to win it all with those two as our teams leaders. We were never going to bring home a championship to Oklahoma City, and that is the ultimate goal, isn’t it? So, lets trade them while we can, while their trade value is at its highest, and get back as many draft picks as humanly possible to jumpstart a total rebuild.
And now, Oklahoma City stands today with this…
The OKC Thunder made a decision by making the moves they have. They decided to blow up their current roster in hopes of rebuilding it into a championship level team through the draft, similar to what teams like Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Golden State have done in the past.
Their decision actually does make a lot of sense. They weren’t going to win a title with the roster they had, so they decided to rebuild it. Now, they have more than enough draft picks to successfully do so, and have the potential to grow into one of the leagues best young teams in the coming years, right before our eyes.
We’ve never seen a team in the history of basketball with control over the amount of draft picks that Oklahoma City now has control of over the next 6 years.
With the draft picks they now own and young, talented players such as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Dennis Schröder, Steven Adams, Hamidou Diallo, Terrance Furguson and Darius Bazley at the helm of their young core, the Thunder have a great young future ahead of them.
Initially looking at the trade, it has its benefits for both sides involved. Maybe more-so the Thunder than Houston, just because the Thunder now have a clear-cut path they are taking, while Houston has really no guarantee of how the Westbrook-Harden experiment will work out.
But at the end of the day…
Houston got their second superstar to match up with the rest of the stacked top of the Western Conference.
Oklahoma City now has a record-setting number of draft picks and a great young core to build around for the future.
And us, as fans, we have one hell of a show to look forward to.
Russell Westbrook and James Harden are reunited…
This is gonna be fun.
– By Zack Weiss