The Rockets gave quite a lot just to get two out of the three core pieces on the 2012 Oklahoma City finals team.
The team traded two lightly protected first-round picks and two protected first-round swaps for Russel Westbrook, who relies a lot on his freakish athleticism and makes the skill set of their incumbent star redundant.
Why isn't it working?
Westbrook in Houston was supposed to be a fresh start from an OKC stint that was turning into dysfunctional. So far we have yet to see him being a visible upgrade over Chris Paul.
Houston has struggled when Westbrook is the only star on the court. The team has performed better when James Harden is the only star in the court. The struggles start when Harden sits and Westbrook is left alone. The two aren't any more effective.
Westbrook out of H-Town?
Daryl Morey is a GM that isn't afraid to trade away players who deliver. Aaron Brooks, Goran Dragic, Carl Landry, and Trevor Ariza were all dealt away even after impressive performances.
It's also a case of Morey being a genius in knowing a player's upside with Dragic being the exception. Harden is the only untouchable piece at the moment so it's safe to say Westbrook is possibly Westbrook available.
Morey would trade anyone if it means making his team better. Trading Westbrook will also save the team a ton of cap space. The Rockets GM isn't directly putting his starting point guard out there.
Who will take Westbrook?
It won't be easy to find a team willing to take a 31-year-old earning $38,506,482 this year and owed $132,633,438 over the next three.
Back in OKC, Westbrook had the stats but it was clearly Paul George's team while he was there. It was the reemergence of the George's 2013-2014 form that won the games for the Thunder.
Nonchalant teams need that vocal star though that will hog everything when nobody wants to do the work. That is Westbrook.
Teams such as the Phoenix Suns, the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the New York Knicks can use that type of boost. The Suns and the Timberwolves only have one max player apiece. They can unload the rest that takes up a lot of cap space.
We can see Devin Booker crying for help now. His undeniable talent and desire to win is no longer enough for Phoenix.
Will Westbrook be traded away or will the Rockets build around him and Harden instead? Let us know your thoughts.
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