The Houston Rockets want to trade Russell Westbrook before exploring one for James Harden, according to various league sources.
The Rockets are between a rock and a hard place right now. Both of their MVP guards are demanding moves away from the franchise. While Westbrook’s concerns are regarding the Rockets’ team culture, Harden believes the team has finished its championship window. Both of them are looking for their first NBA titles.
While Harden has been heavily linked in rumors to the Brooklyn Nets and, to a lesser extent, the Philadelphia 76ers, Russ is proving to be an unwanted asset.
No team interested in Russell Westbrook trade
Westbrook is among the players who rely heavily on their athleticism. Now over 32 years old, the Brody is no longer at his physical peak. Even though he’s still more athletic and explosive than 95% of the league, he’s declined as a shooter over the past 3 seasons.
Westbrook is slated to earn over $132 million a season, including $47 million in his age 34 season. When he was fit over the last season, the Brody was still a force to reckon with. A quad injury marred his playoff run, but he may still have a lot left to offer to a lot of teams.
James Harden, on the other hand, is among the most valuable assets in the NBA. He can singlehandedly power almost any team to the playoffs. Getting a trade partner won’t be tough for the Rockets once they seal a Westbrook deal.
RUMOR: James Harden trade unlikely for Rockets until suitable Russell Westbrook deal found – https://t.co/jpDyyz9TGA
— James Michael Krause (@JamesMichaelKr5) November 20, 2020
A Harden trade to the Nets may be in the works and be set in motion if the Rockets are successful in trading Russ. Such a deal would definitely mean the Rockets are in tank mode, while also catapulting the Nets to the top of the NBA power rankings.