Who won the Russell Westbrook-Chris Paul trade? | The Tylt
Who won the Russell Westbrook-Chris Paul trade?
Two MVPs on one team is never a bad thing. James Harden and Russell Westbrook never stopped being friends after Harden was traded to the Rockets in 2012, and a reunion makes a lot of sense.
They both want to play with each other again, which makes it easier to share the ball. Both are still nightmares in the pick and roll, with Harden able to shoot, pass and drive with lethal precision, while Westbrook is almost unstoppable going to the basket.
This combination of the Beard and Brodie keep the Rockets within arm's reach of the Lakers, Warriors, Clippers and Trail Blazers in the Western Conference, all of which have powerful duos of their own. The Rockets needed this trade.
After trading away Paul George to the Clippers, the Thunder basically resigned itself to a rebuild. After three straight first-round playoff exits, it was tough to justify having gigantic salaries only to fail when it mattered most. This trade gives Oklahoma City the flexibility it needs to start all over again.
Russell Westbrook has done a lot for the city, but his numbers haven't resulted in much team-wide success. Getting two first-round draft picks and two pick swaps for a player turning 31 in the upcoming year is a great haul. Furthermore, Chris Paul, who always plays with a chip on his shoulder, gives the team a great veteran to teach the young players and/or another decent trade asset to get more draft picks and expiring contracts.
The Thunder may have given up a franchise player, but they won the trade with some savvy rebuilding moves.