With the NBA offseason entering a crucial stage with next week's free agency, teams are looking to bolster their rosters and compete for next season's championship. The Houston Rockets' disgruntled point guard Russell Westbrook has been the subject of numerous NBA Trade Rumors after it was revealed that he was seeking an exit from the franchise. Teams such as the New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets were among the leading contenders to acquire the former MVP. Let's take a look at the latest update on his situation.
NBA Trade Rumors: Charlotte Hornets GM clears the air around the Russell Westbrook links
In a recent report by the Athletic, it was revealed that former MVP Russell Westbrook is not happy with how events are panning out for the Houston Rockets, and has handed in a trade request. The Rockets replaced their head coach and General Manager recently, and losing a player of Russell Westbrook's caliber would see the franchise's disastrous offseason continue.
NBA Trade Rumors suggest that Charlotte Hornets is interested in procuring the services of Russell Westbrook, and General Manager Mitch Kupchak recently came out and addressed the speculation,
“I can’t comment on other teams’ players.”
While it was a non-committal response, Kupchak refused to outrightly deny the rumors. He also revealed the Hornets' mindset approaching the NBA Draft 2020 and NBA Free Agency,
“We’re active, we’re talking to teams. We’re looking for ways to improve our team.”
Russell Westbrook is set to command interest from various NBA teams. Winner of the 2017 NBA MVP award, Westbrook showcased his leadership with the OKC Thunder before moving to the Houston Rockets in 2019.
Despite Westbrook's individual success, there are some who doubt that he will be able to replicate the success he had with the OKC Thunder. The Ringer's NBA analyst Kevin O'Connor expressed his disapproval of the current NBA Trade Rumors floating around the league,
"The Hornets would be making one of the biggest mistakes of the decade if they trade for Russell Westbrook."
Russel Westbrook is currently on a massive five-year $206 million contract and is due to be paid $40 million in the 2020-21 NBA season. As a former MVP and nine-time All-Star, he also commands a large trade package. There are few teams in the NBA who can afford Westbrook's contract and put together the necessary trade assets required to acquire him.
The Houston Rockets' move for Russell Westbrook in 2019 left the franchise with very few assets, and teams will be more cautious this time around.
While the departure of Russell Westbrook will be a huge blow to the Houston Rockets' hopes of competing for a championship in the next couple of seasons, a trade could help the team acquire new players and picks that could be used to start a rebuild.Published 15 Nov 2020, 04:10 IST