- Shams Charania reported last night that Russell Westbrook wants to leave the Houston Rockets.
- Westbrook came to Texas last year, as the final piece of the Rockets’ championship puzzle.
- His massive contract might become a problem in a potential trade.
Westbrook’ Stint in Houston Might End
One of the most prominent NBA insiders, Shams Charania, reported yesterday afternoon, that Russell Westbrook wants to leave the Houston Rockets after only one year. His sources confirmed the story, which caused enormous reactions all over the social networks.
So far, there hasn’t been any official confirmation from either Westbrook or the Rockets.
Westbrook arrived at Toyota Center on July 11, 2019, following a trade in which he went to Houston, while in the opposite direction headed Chris Paul and a bunch of draft picks. At the time, the former NBA MVP was welcomed as the key addition to Houston’s roster, and a player who would provide an edge for the Rockets in their title quest.
Mike D’Antoni and his small-ball style of play got the ultimate backcourt duo, Harden-Westbrook, and everyone believed that the Rockets are on their way to challenge the top teams in the league.
As time went by, it turned out that the team isn’t convincing, as many believed. Clint Capela’s trade, which turned out to be a major bust for Houston, was a desperate move made by D’Antoni, and it didn’t provide anything good for the franchise but instead wasted a couple of more draft choices.
Rockets reached the playoffs, where they lost to LA Lakers in the West semis, 4-1, after which the two-time NBA Coach of the Year decided not to extend his stay in Texas. Stephen Silas was hired to replace him, and shortly after that, sources from the team revealed that both James Harden and Westbrook are uncertain regarding their future in the franchise.
Harden would add yesterday that he stays “committed” to the team, and is ready for the upcoming season.
Many teams would like to have Russell Westbrook, but one problematic factor prevents them from going after the superstar – massive salary. Westbrook is set to earn $131.5 million in the next three years, which is too much for most franchises in the league.
Even though there were some rumors that he could wind up in Los Angeles Lakers, that deal is definitely off due to the salary cap limitations the purple and gold have.
The media speculates with various combinations right now, but the three mentioned most are the Knicks, Pistons, and the Pelicans.
New York is desperate for a superstar ever since Carmelo Anthony left, and even in the last years of his stay, the former No.3 pick the fans weren’t happy with him. Westbrook’s arrival would no doubt boost the Knicks’ stocks and made them more attractive.
Pistons want to have a fresh start and are willing to give up many things in exchange for Westbrook, while the Pelicans need a leader for their young and talented team, the one that would guide Zion and the boys throughout their development.