3. Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook and James Harden combined to form one of the highest scoring backcourts in league history in 2019-20, leading the small ball Rockets to the fourth-best record in the Western Conference.
The tandem was split up, as both players wanted greener pastures and knew the franchise was headed towards a rebuild. Westbrook spent a year with the Washington Wizards, and the better part of two seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before playing for the other Los Angeles franchise- the LA Clippers.
Interestingly enough, Westbrook and Harden became teammates again for the third time following the trade that sent Harden to the Clips. Since Harden's arrival, Westbrook has taken a backseat, as he unselfishly removed himself from the starting lineup.
The lineups containing Westbrook, Harden, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard have been clunky and it was clear that something needed to change.
Since the lineup change, Westbrook has averaged 9.8 points, 38.5 percent from the field, 21.1 percent from deep, 64.9 percent from the foul line, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. Westbrook has had the second-worst net rating on the Clips during that span (-9) and is shooting 46.7 percent true shooting.
It's not as if Westbrook isn't still capable of being a high-level contributor, as his 2023 postseason averages suggest otherwise (23.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 41 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from deep). However, he's not quite the best player to come off the bench.