It isn’t very surprising that Russell Westbrook is on his way out of Houston after just one season. The Rockets have spent the last three seasons trying to get over the hump and Darryl Morey took a chance last season, trading Chris Paul for Westbrook.
Despite Houston insisting that James Harden’s former teammate was fully committed to the team and working well, reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic have surfaced over the last week that Westbrook wants to move on from Houston.
According to the report, Westbrook wishes to return to his role he had with Oklahoma City as a “floor general”, a role Harden has in Houston.
The report also follows previous news that the two stars in Houston were alarmed and very uncertain about the future of the team with Morey and head coach Mike D’Antoni leaving the organization.
With Houston very likely to move on from the former MVP in Westbrook, the question now becomes “where does he go?”
Rumors have swirled about where the nine-time NBA All-Star could land, but there seems to be a big underlying issue with Westbrook. The cons seem to outweigh the pros. It is impossible to deny how talented Westbrook is and the numbers he puts up. Westbrook produces and he has been given praise from Michael Jordan himself for having that killer instinct.
But it isn’t a coincidence that the Thunder teams led by just Westbrook failed to escape the first round each year. He wears himself out throughout the season and despite how athletic and talented he is, he isn’t a shooter and the NBA has become a shooters league.
On top of all of that, he isn’t known as a great team player. The most well-known example of that came with the Thunder, when the organization moved on from Harden and Kevin Durant to make Westbrook happy.
Since Westbrook’s MVP season in 2017, he has shot less than 30 percent from the 3-point arc and he saw that number drop to under 26 percent last season with the Rockets.
Even in Westbrook’s best seasons where he would average a triple-double, his teams weren’t couldn’t get out of the first round, let alone win a championship.
Now, contenders aren’t jumping to bring the Westbrook in, and it isn’t hard to see why. Westbrook wants to run the show, but when he has, it hasn’t equated to winning.
There will be a team that brings Westbrook in, but it will most likely be a team that doesn’t have another true star. Teams like the Knicks and Hornets could be potential suitors for the All-Star guard, but the Rockets might want more of a market to build before making a move.
Westbrook is almost certainly on his way out of Houston, but he will most likely end up on a rebuilding team or a fringe team in the East.