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Rumors: Rockets trying to acquire Russell Westbrook in three team deal

Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder works his way around Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder works his way around Eric Gordon #10 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)
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The Houston Rockets are reportedly trying to put together a three-team deal for Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.

The Houston Rockets are trying to get a third team involved in a trade for Russell Westbrook, according to Brian Windhorst, who spoke about potential deals for the point guard on SportsCenter. After Paul George was dealt to the Clippers, the Thunder appear to be entering a rebuilding phase and Westbrook is ready to move on to another team.

Along with the Rockets, the Pistons have also been linked to Westbrook. However, Windhorst said that Miami is his preferred destination. It seems like we’ve recently seen this movie before. At the start of free agency, the Rockets tried putting a three-team deal together for Jimmy Butler, but it all fell apart because he ultimately wanted to play with the Heat.

George requested a trade to the Clippers to team up with Kawhi Leonard, and the Thunder quickly honored his request, even though he still had three years left on his contract with a player option in 2021.

Russell Westbrook has spent his entire 11-year career in OKC and he stayed loyal to the franchise after Kevin Durant left in 2016. If Westbrook is determined to go to Miami, like Butler was, you’d have to assume that OKC will find a way to make it happen.

For Houston, the problem is that they don’t have many young assets or attractive picks for the Thunder. Furthermore, Westbrook is going to make over $38 million next season, so in order to make the salaries match, the Rockets would have to send out Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker.

That would mostly gut the team’s depth, and while the Rockets would be able to add a triple-double machine in Westbrook, you’d have to wonder if such a deal would be worth it. Westbrook shot just 29 percent from 3-point range last season and he was only in the 30th percentile in isolation possessions, so he isn’t an efficient one-on-one player either.

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That makes his fit in Houston’s offensive system a bit odd. However, Mike D’Antoni should be able to figure out something to make it work should a deal happen.

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