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Reasons why the Houston Rockets should trade for Russell Westbrook

Anthony Duckett
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 21: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives around James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets for two points during the second half of Game Three in the 2017 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals on April 21, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City defeated Houston 115-113 NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 21: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives around James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets for two points during the second half of Game Three in the 2017 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals on April 21, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City defeated Houston 115-113 NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images) /
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PORTLAND, OR – APRIL 23: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during Game Five of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR – APRIL 23: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during Game Five of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Why they should

For starters, Westbrook is all hustle, which the Rockets need. He averaged the fourth most minutes per game with 36 minutes. In addition, he averaged the fifth-most defensive rebounds in the league, with 9.6 rebounds per game. By comparison, the Rockets leading defensive rebounder was Clint Capela, who averaged 8.2 rebounds per night. Westbrook is the only guard to rank in the top 15 of defensive rebounds per night.

Another reason is that Westbrook is actually a really good defender by the numbers. He ranked 5th in steals per night, averaging 1.9. In addition, his defensive win shares ranked fourth in the league and ahead of Defensive Player of the Year finalist Paul George.

Furthermore, his defensive box plus minus ranked 4th in the league, which was ahead of Anthony Davis. This measures the defensive points per possession a player contributed on per 100 possessions. He isn’t the greatest defender, but he tries hard on that end, too.

Next: Odd pairing

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