After the departure of GM Daryl Morey and head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Houston Rockets are moving in a new direction under Rafael Stone and new coach Stephen Silas. However, the franchise will have to steady their ship soon, as NBA trade rumors about the future of Russell Westbrook have emerged recently in the Athletic, regarding his reported incompatibility with James Harden.
NBA Trade Rumors: Russell Westbrook and James Harden not keen on playing with each other
James Harden and Russell Westbrook are one of the few superstar duos in the NBA. However, their partnership failed to impress in the 2019-20 NBA season, as the Houston Rockets crashed out of the playoffs in the second round.
Ever since the team's early postseason exit, NBA trade rumors have linked both Harden and Russell Westbrook with moves to contending teams.
Russell Westbrook especially has been the focal point of most of these NBA trade rumors. Popular ESPN analyst Stephen A Smith has offered his take in this regard:
"They don't want to play with each other anymore. Russell Westbrook doesn't wanna play with James Harden; James Harden doesn't wanna play with Russell Westbrook."
Kendrick Perkins then took over, revealing the intel he has procured about the situation of the two Houston Rockers stars:
"According to my sources, James Harden hasn't been picking up any phone calls for the last 2 weeks. Same with Russell Westbrook- no communication. Except for last night, when he requested a trade."
Russell Westbrook is set to command NBA trade interest from various teams, considering his reputation and pedigree in the league. A former MVP, Westbrook has shown his leadership qualities in the past with the OKC Thunder as well.
This year's free agency class is weak, and there is a dearth of point guards available for NBA trades. That could result in Russell Westbrook receiving a lot of offers from potential suitors.
The Houston Rockets' move for Russell Westbrook in 2019 left the franchise with very few trade assets.
While the departure of Russell Westbrook might diminish the team's immediate championship hopes, it could help the Houston Rockets acquire new players and picks that could be used to attempt a rebuild.Published 12 Nov 2020, 23:54 IST