Westbrook / Chris Paul Trade
In a way we could see this coming but it's still wild to think of yet another wild shakeup in the NBA like this one. Westbrook reuniting with his old buddy James Harden and not only that we're talking about a Russell Westbrook that a lot of people thought was going to stay in Oklahoma City his whole career, but nonetheless here we are and poor Chris Paul is now stuck on what looks to be a team in rebuilding mode after he finally looked like he had a chance to breakthrough with the Rockets, now Russell will get that chance.
Paul's Breakthrough would just to even get to the Finals but Westbrook's would be to get there and win seeing as he's been to the mountaintop once before but never made it to the Finish line. The one time Westbrook was in the Finals was with Harden and Harden hasn't been since he left OKC either, but there is another factor in all that and that's that they also had Kevin Durant and let's not forget Ibaka back when he was called Iblaka! The question is how do I think this duo will play together now?
For me personally not that well actually. I mean do I expect them to be a Playoff team? Sure, but do I expect them to be any better than when Chris Paul was there? No, in fact I think they'll be a little worse. Even though Westbrook and Harden went to the Finals together that was when Harden was a 6th man and as good as that young Harden was it yet and still isn't this Harden. If you think that Chris Paul and Harden's play styles clashed I'd expect even more of the same with a player like Westbrook who is 110 MPH full speed ahead on every possession when Harden maybe wanted to wind the shot clock down and draw a foul. Westbrook will bring better numbers for sure but I also like Paul as a calming presence/leader for the team when the going gets tough a little more. Who knows? Maybe this team can knock it out of the park! This is MOSTLY opinionated of course but it's how I genuinely feel. The good news is that the West looks wide open for a change so who knows? Maybe they can get some sort of a run together but without The Warriors being as intact as they were in previous years, before the Chris Paul Trade I would have chose Houston to be in the Finals but not now. No matter what you believe though, Rockets just added a Triple Double machine with a player already in place who in my mind should have been MVP again putting up over 35 points a game. Regardless of how I feel this could be a blast of a team to watch and I truly hope they gel to their full potential, I just have my questions as of right now and hopefully my questions are answered in a positive light in what looks like has the potential to be as even across the board as any season in recent memory.
As far as Chris Paul goes…I definitely feel for him because he was in the right spot for the first time in his career but sources have said that his and Harden's relationship was all but tarnished at this point and for all we know that could mainly be his doing so he could have possibly made his own bed on this one and now he is going to have to lie in it, but there is murmurs of him possibly going somewhere else that has a better shot at a title before the Season starts which would be better for him at this point of his career, but one thing’s for sure, Paul will take on the job head on and I think churn out a few more wins then most would expect with what looks to be a team in it's rebuilding stage in OKC.
Russell Westbrook averaged 22.9 PPG/11.1 RPG (Career High)/10.7 APG (Career High) for the Oklahoma City Thunder last year
Chris Paul averaged 15.6 PPG/8.2 APG/4.6 RPG last year for the Houston Rockets
Also in the trade the Rockets and Then swapped future 1st round picks.
The Rockets now have the Thunders 2021,2025 1st Round picks
And the Thunder now have the Rockets 2024,2026 1st Round Picks.