Sources — OKC trades Russ to Rockets for Paul – ESPN
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Sources — OKC trades Russ to Rockets for Paul – ESPN

10:28 PM ET

  • Adrian Wojnarowski

    Shut

    NBA
    • Senior NBA Insider
    • Joined ESPN in 2017
    • Host of The Woj Pod
  • Royce Younger

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    ESPN Workers Writer
    • Covers the Oklahoma City Order for ESPN.com

The Oklahoma City Order rating agreed to a blockbuster alternate to ship Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets to reunite him with James Harden, league sources quick ESPN.

The Rockets will ship guard Chris Paul, two exact first-round picks (2024 and 2026, each exact Nos. 1-four) and two device shut swaps (2021 and 2025) to the Order, league sources quick ESPN.

The Rockets are reuniting two used MVP guards who started their careers along with the Order. This used to be a deal Harden and Westbrook rating been every pondering, league sources talked about.

Order ordinary manager Sam Presti labored with Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, to abet honor the star guard’s hopes of playing with the Rockets, league sources talked about. The Order moreover discussed a imaginable cope with the Miami Heat, sources talked about.

In making the alternate, the Rockets think that the age distinction between Paul (34) and Westbrook (30), provides them a bigger likelihood to prolong the championship window of Harden (30 subsequent month).

“We’re enraged to rating Russell Westbrook,” Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta quick Houston’s Fox 26. “I would think him play for Oklahoma City, and he is so athletic. On the similar time, this franchise excellent had the 2 years with the most wins or no longer it is ever had in consecutive years, and we assign no longer need performed that with out Chris Paul. Chris Paul is improbable, and he is gonna be sadly uncared for.”

Oklahoma City has gathered eight first-round picks since the June 20 NBA draft, growing a protracted sport unseen in fresh NBA history. With the likelihood that Oklahoma City might well raise its devour 2020 device shut (high-20 exact to Philadelphia) and 2022 device shut (lottery exact to Atlanta), the Order might rating 15 first-round picks and swap rights in four assorted seasons between 2020 and 2026.

The Order might well continue to work to salvage a fresh crew for the 34-one year-aged Paul, league sources talked about. Paul has three years, $124 million left on his contract — one one year fewer than Westbrook would’ve had on the Order’s books. If the Order raise Paul, they’ll rating a consultant lineup that for the time being involves him, heart Steven Adams and forward Danilo Gallinari.

If Oklahoma City wished to incentivize a alternate for Paul, the Order might well utilize half of their massive pool of picks to facilitate a deal. Paul has some tremendous history with Oklahoma City, having played there with the Hornets beginning in 2005-06, when Hurricane Katrina forced the franchise to temporarily relocate.

Presti has spoken to Paul’s agent, Leon Rose, about the guard’s future in Oklahoma City, sources quick ESPN. They labored together closing one year on a identical yelp with Carmelo Anthony.

Caesars Sportsbook moved the Rockets from 10-1 to 7-1 to rob the 2019-20 NBA title, in the lend a hand of splendid the Los Angeles Lakers (7-2), LA Clippers (four-1) and Milwaukee Bucks (9-2).

“I talked about at the pause of the one year, ‘We’re by no way gonna stand pat,'” Fertitta talked about. “We’re frequently gonna are trying to enhance. I rating this makes us a bigger crew. I detest to lose Chris Paul, nonetheless we felt treasure we did what we needed to assemble to alter into a bigger crew.

“I rating it will be very spirited and fun. James and Russell wished to play together. It must silent be fun this one year.”

Westbrook and Harden might well be the fourth pair of teammates to play together after every successful an MVP award within the earlier three seasons, per Elias Sports actions Bureau analysis.

Westbrook has four years and $171 million remaining on his contract, with a participant option in the remaining one year of his deal location to pay him $47 million must silent he opt in.

After Paul George‘s alternate to the Clippers, Westbrook and Foucher labored with the Order to salvage an effective course forward on Westbrook’s future with the franchise. With free company effectively concluded, and Westbrook’s checklist of most fashioned locations extraordinarily brief, the timing made alternate negotiations advanced.

Restful, the Order wished to accommodate Westbrook’s desires as mighty as imaginable, along with his in the beginning desire to reunite with Harden in Houston, whereas moreover finding a alternate that fit OKC’s purpose of rebuilding.

Drafted fourth overall by the Order (then the Seattle SuperSonics) in 2008, Westbrook leaves because the franchise’s all-time chief in features (18,859); second in assists (6,897); third in rebounds (5,760) and steals (1,442); and fourth in video games played (821). In the Oklahoma City period, Westbrook ranks first throughout the board.

Westbrook won the MVP in 2016-17, making NBA history because the first participant since Oscar Robertson in 1962 to moderate a triple-double. He broke Robertson’s mark of triple-doubles in a season with 42, after which went on to moderate a triple-double in two extra seasons. Westbrook ranks tied for second all time with Magic Johnson at 138 occupation triple-doubles, in the lend a hand of splendid Robertson (181).

Westbrook is one amongst excellent 10 players in NBA history to file 15,000 features, 5,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists with a single franchise, seven of whom are in the Hall of Status. The leisure two are Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Since Westbrook used to be drafted by OKC, splendid the Spurs (613) and Rockets (541) rating extra wins than the Order (538). Westbrook used to be half of a historical drag of picks by the Order, because the suitable crew in NBA history to make a different three consecutive future MVPs (Kevin Durant, Westbrook and Harden). Since Westbrook’s debut, the Order are the suitable crew to rating three assorted players assemble in the tip three of MVP voting (Durant, Westbrook and George). OKC has had Sixteen All-NBA choices since 2009, the most in the NBA in that span.

The Order made the playoffs in every of Westbrook and Harden’s three seasons together, going from the 8-seed in 2009-10 to No. four in 2010-Eleven to No. 2 in 2011-12. They reached the NBA Finals of their closing season, shedding in 5 video games to Miami, earlier than Oklahoma City traded Harden to Houston that October.

Westbrook will be forever linked to the Order because the face of the franchise, pledging his loyalty to the group in the wake of Durant’s departure to the Golden Converse Warriors in 2016. Westbrook re-upped with OKC, stabilizing the roster and offering a course forward, after which signed a 5-one year extension in 2017, at the time the splendid contract in NBA history.

Knowledge from ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne used to be broken-down on this document.

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July 12, 2019
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