Houston Rockets: Grading the Russell Westbrook trade
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Oklahoma City Thunder received a decent haul for Westbrook. It wasn’t quite as sizable as the one they got from the Clippers in the Paul George trade, which included an unprecedented number of draft picks plus an up-and-coming player in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and veteran forward Danilo Gallinari. However, their haul of Paul plus two first-rounders and two pick swaps is nothing to sneeze at.
Paul is an aging superstar guard who has three years and $124 million left on his contract. After trading away Westbrook, George and Jerami Grant, the Thunder are obviously entering into a rebuilding period.
OKC has little need for Paul, whose massive contract still has the Thunder way over the salary cap. Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Thunder GM Sam Presti is already working with Paul to trade him to a new team, so the Thunder have no intentions of beginning the season with the future Hall of Famer in a Thunder jersey.
Houston hoped to find third-team destination preferable to Chris Paul, but ultimately leaves it OKC to execute next step once Presti confers w/ CP3 agent Leon Rose. Miami remains possibility for Paul (3 years, $124M) — and OKC obviously has picks to incentivize deal, if needed.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2019
OKC received a young player along with a sea of first-rounders for George and the Pelicans added three young players along with three first-rounders in their trade for Anthony Davis last month. Since OKC didn’t get any young assets directly from Houston and may have to give up one of their first-rounders to move Paul, they didn’t score quite as high as they did in their last trade.
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