Rockets News

3 reasons the Houston Rockets shouldn’t trade for Russell Westbrook

By Dan Crouch
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 09: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket defended by Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at Toyota Center on February 9, 2019 in Houston, Texas. 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 Tim Warner/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 09: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets drives to the basket defended by Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first half at Toyota Center on February 9, 2019 in Houston, Texas. 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 Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 19: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers during Round One Game Three of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2019 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 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)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 19: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers during Round One Game Three of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2019 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 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) /

Doesn’t meet a need

After consecutive heartbreaking playoff exits, it is clear the Rockets are good enough to contend with the group they have. Houston lacked a tall two-way wing player to round out their closing lineup, as the 6’6 P.J. Tucker and 6’5 James Harden were the tallest players in there.

The Lakers and Clippers are among the rival teams who have added height which the Houston Rockets will struggle to contend with as currently assembled. If Paul, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker or Clint Capela are going to be traded it can’t be for Westbrook as he doesn’t solve this problem.

Not only would Westbrook fail to solve this problem, but he would also potentially make matters worse. OKC won’t accept a straight swap for Paul, so analyzing Westbrook’s fit isn’t as simple as slotting him into Paul’s starting point guard slot. Who else would Houston have to lose from their already thin roster? How would they replace those players when they have already struggled to sign free agents as it is? Is it worth losing future draft picks when there’s a reasonable chance Westbrook will make the team worse?

Next. Why the Rockets should want Russell Westbrook

Based on past performances of both Houston and Westbrook, this is a marriage that just won’t work unless something drastic is to change in Westbrook’s or Houston’s entire playstyle.

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