At the conclusion of the 2019 playoffs, it was clear that the Houston Rockets were missing something, but we had no way of predicting what that something would be. As we now know, the Rockets traded Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook, which certainly couldn’t have been predicted.
Rockets GM Daryl Morey recently explained how he didn’t expect to make a major move, and how he felt Westbrook wasn’t even an option for the Rockets. Morey also explained the reasoning for making such a bold move, as he felt the CP3-James Harden tandem wouldn’t be enough to win the championship.
This was the biggest trade of the entire NBA offseason, as it was the only one that netted each team a 2020 All-Star. The Russ experiment has worked out great, as Russ ultimately went on a 34-game streak in which he’s scored at least 20 points, which is a career-best for The Brodie. On top of that, Russ is currently averaging 27.5 points per game, which ranks seventh in the league.
There have only been two seasons in Westbrook’s career in which he’s averaged more points per game, and both were seasons in which he led the league in scoring. Not only that, Russ is shooting 47.4 percent from the field, which is also a career-high.
Aside from Russ, the Rockets made another big trade, as they moved Clint Capela for prized 3-and-D wing Robert Covington, which has also proven to be a wise move, especially considering the Rockets’ desired style of play.
The Rockets have gone 8-6 with RoCo on the roster, but that’s a bit skewed due to the team’s poor play heading into the break, which landed them a four-game losing streak. RoCo is averaging 2.5 blocks per game, which is a career-best for him, and is better than Capela ever fared in that category. The Rockets also made a move for Bruno Caboclo, but he’s not been able to earn significant playing time yet.
Next: Free Agent Signings