Westbrook Trade Rumors
Since Westbrook first requested a trade, there have been very few trade rumors other than the Knicks, Hornets, and now the Wizards. At the moment, Westbrook is one of the most untradeable players in the league, and here’s why. Very few teams are open to trading for Westbrook as they’d have to take on his huge $44 million salary each year, one of the most expensive in the NBA. On top of this, he’s getting old at 32, and with his game relying on him being super athletic, how will he fare when he can’t jump as high or he’s not as strong?
Well, we’ve already seen Westbrook’s game becoming less valuable in the NBA as he can’t shoot threes. In today’s NBA, it’s virtually a must for point guards to shoot threes well. I hate to sound like Colin Cowherd but I really don’t rate Westbrook as a player. I think he’s one of the most overrated players in the league.
Hornets and Knicks
Now the Hornets are only a suitor for Westbrook because he’s signed to the Jordan brand and the Hornets are owned by Michael Jordan himself. This trade would only serve as a business deal for Michael Jordan as Westbrook is extremely popular among most fans and Westbrook jerseys sell really well. Not to mention the money he’d bring in with ticket sales and fans tuning in just to see Westbrook play.
And the move to the Knicks would be for similar reasons as they know, in the short term, they have no chance at a ring. But they have such a young team and should be preparing and planning for the future, not thinking about giving up their young core for Westbrook to take up all their cap space. The Knicks front office apparently believes they acquire Westbrook without giving up many of their young players but we already know the Rocket’s want a lot for Westbrook, so it’s unlikely this will happen.
Then finally we have the Wizards who are open to trading John Wall. But after missing all of last season due to injury, John Wall is also quite untradeable and I’d be surprised if the Rockets have much interest in trading for him. Nevertheless, he’s still 30 so if he can return to his All-Star level that he was at a few years ago, he’ll be a great player for the Rockets, certainly better than Westbrook has been. John Wall has shown that he can succeed with other stars, something Westbrook has struggled with. He and Bradley Beal have played together for eight years now and have never had any issues together. Wall has shown that he can lead teams to the conference finals, as he’s done this on three separate occasions. But he’s never got any further.
With all that time off, I think he’ll return a far more consistent three-point shooter than he’s often been. In the 2018-19 season, he shot a below-average 30.2% but the season prior he shot an impressive 37.1% from behind the arc. If he can get back up to 37% from three and still be the solid defender that he was, then this could be a worthwhile trade for the Rockets. It will at least give the Rockets a star to build on.
James Harden Trade Rumors
Now moving onto James Harden, who I thought was committed to Houston until he rejected the $51.5 million per year contract extension that would’ve extended his contract for another two years. Harden has made it pretty clear that he wants to be in Brooklyn with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Mike D’Antoni but so far there has been no ‘meaningful dialogue’ although I expect that to change very shortly. Unlike Westbrook, Harden is a very tradeable player and the Nets know that if they can acquire Harden, they become serious contenders for the Championship.
Stephen A. Smith thinks that James Harden for Caris Lavert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and three future first-round picks is a good trade, but I think the Rockets should push for more. They still don’t have a Centre so I think they should go after Jarrett Allen and it wouldn’t hurt to try and get Joe Harris in the trade too, as he’s one of the best catch and shoot three-point shooters in the league. The Nets will try their best to keep hold of Allen, but I think they’ll have to trade him.
If this trade does go through, I have the Nets as my favorite for next season. But don’t let all the trade rumors make you forget that Stephen Silas got the head coach job specifically to work with Russell Westbrook and James Harden, and then within a week of him arriving they’ve both requested trades.