Westbrook reunites with Rockets star Harden in Houston – reports
The Houston Rockets have acquired star guard Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to reports.
In an ESPN report, the Rockets have sent Chris Paul and first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 for the 2017 NBA MVP.
The teams have also swapped picks in 2021 and 2025 as Westbrook reunites with former Thunder team-mate and 2018 MVP James Harden.
After Paul George left the Thunder for the Los Angeles Clippers, eight-time All-Star Westbrook wanted to be sent to the Rockets.
Westbrook and Harden played together in Oklahoma City from 2009 to 2012 – the pair helping the Thunder reach the 2012 NBA Finals.
Last season, Westbrook averaged 22.9 points, 10.7 assists and 11.1 rebounds as the Thunder advanced to the playoffs before falling to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round.
This trade was set in motion when the Thunder dealt George to the Clippers on Saturday to join up with Kawhi Leonard. In that deal, Oklahoma City acquired two good players in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Danilo Gallinari, but the big kicker in the agreement was the draft picks that came with it.
Oklahoma City received three unprotected first-round picks from the Clippers (2022, 2024 and 2026), two more which initially belonged to the Miami Heat (2021 unprotected and 2023 protected one through 14) and the right to swap picks with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.
That move all but signified a rebuild for the Thunder and generated buzz surrounding a possible Westbrook trade. He initially reportedly considered going to the Heat to join up with Jimmy Butler.
As for Houston, there was reportedly a rift between Paul and Harden in the locker room and the Rockets were considering dealing the veteran guard and his contract for a while. Paul has three years remaining on the four-year, $159million deal he signed with Houston in 2018.
Westbrook also has four years remaining on his five-year, $206m contract (one is a player option).