Report: Rockets interested in Russell Westbrook, but trade is a ‘long shot’
It’s looking like a “long shot” when it comes to the possibility of reuniting former teammates Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
That’s according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, who reports the Houston Rockets do indeed have interest in acquiring the Oklahoma City Thunder star point guard following OKC trading forward Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers to team up with Kawhi Leonard.
Westbrook and Harden both played for OKC together and, alongside All-Star Kevin Durant, were part of general manager Sam Presti’s young core that took the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals, where they fell to LeBron James’ Miami Heat in five games.
Westbrook was selected with the fourth overall pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics right before the organization relocated to Oklahoma City.
Harden was the Thunder’s “first” draft pick, selected third the following year. The seven-time All-Star and current Rocket was traded to Houston in October 2012 in an extremely controversial move that broke up the Durant-Westbrook-Harden core.
All three players went on to win a league MVP award.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey has spent the 2019 offseason attempting to bring in a third star to join Harden and point guard Chris Paul in Houston. They wanted Jimmy Butler, who the Miami Heat acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Now, according to ESPN, Westbrook could be that next name after the Thunder sent George to his hometown of Los Angeles. It would be difficult, however, thanks to Westbrook’s supermax extension he signed in 2017.
Westbrook is due to earn more than $40 million by the 2020-21 season and has a player option worth $46 million for the 2022-23 season.
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