In what could be the last NBA Offseason bomb to go off, this bomb clearly ended an era in Oklahoma City.
The Houston Rockets have acquired Russell Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 along with pick swaps in 2021 and 2025. The picks in 2024 and 2026 are protected 1-to-4, while the swap in 2021 is protected 1-4 (Thunder can swap Clippers’ pick or Heat Pick) and 1-20 in 2025.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, pick swaps in 2021 and 2025, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 12, 2019
The Thunder have been in rebuild mode since getting blindsided by Paul George’s trade request to the Clippers to team up with Kawhi Leonard. That deal brought Oklahoma City a wealth of future draft picks and signaled the end of the Westbrook era. It only took GM Sam Presti six days to find a package for the former MVP.
There have been rumors all summer of a rift between Paul and Rockets star James Harden. Now Harden and Westbrook — former teammates for three years in Oklahoma City — are set to share the court again.
James Harden x Russell Westbrook
Reunited in Houston 🕺 pic.twitter.com/G4GhjnBqOQ
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 12, 2019
So much has changed since Westbrook and Harden last shared the court together in Oklahoma City. Harden blew up into a superstar upon being traded to Houston, winning MVP in 2018 and finishing as runner-up for the award three other times. Westbrook won his own MVP by edging Harden in 2017 when he became the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for the season. Westbrook has now averaged a triple-double for three seasons in a row.
For Paul, its more than likely, he will request a buyout from his contract. Paul will not want any parts of rebuild this late in his career.