Russell Westbrook Hoping For Trade

All-Star Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook wants to be traded following his first season with the club, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Westbrook has expressed to team officials that he has been “uneasy about the team’s accountability and culture,” according to Charania, who adds that the former MVP would like to join a team where he can have a role similar to the one had in Oklahoma City up until 2019.

This is a significant development, following the news revealed earlier today that Westbrook and his fellow All-Star guard James Harden have relayed to the Houston front office and to their own representatives that they were concerned about the direction of the franchise.

The team finished the 2019/20 season with a 44-28 record, good for the fourth seed in the Western Conference. Houston lost 4-1 to the eventual champion Lakers in the second round of the 2020 playoffs. Since then, both head coach Mike D’Antoni and front office architect Daryl Morey have departed the franchise.

Westbrook, who turns 32 tomorrow, has $132MM remaining on his contract over the next three seasons, including a $47MM player option during his age-34 season in 2022/23.

Finding a trade partner to take on Westbrook’s contract without attaching additional assets may prove difficult for the Rockets’ new-look front office, led by GM Rafael Stone, as the team surrendered several draft picks to acquire and then accommodate him.

Harden, meanwhile, apparently wants to remain with the Rockets, team sources inform Charania and Kelly Iko of The Athletic (Twitter link). The team reportedly remains committed to building a title contender around Harden.

Ahead of the 2019/20 season, the Rockets sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul, their first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 (top-four protected), plus 2021 and 2025 pick swap rights, to the Thunder in exchange for Westbrook.

Looking to further account for the fit of Westbrook – a limited shooter – on the floor, the Rockets sent center Clint Capela and their 2020 first-round pick to the Hawks in a four-team deadline deal that brought back three-and-D forward Robert Covington, a second-round pick, and forward Jordan Bell (who was flipped for Bruno Caboclo).

Assuming the Rockets look to accommodate Westbrook’s apparent trade request, he’ll become one of the most notable players on the trade block this offseason, joining fellow guards Paul and Jrue Holiday. A previous report from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer indicated that the Clippers and Knicks are among the teams with interest in Westbrook.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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133 thoughts on “Russell Westbrook Hoping For Trade

  1. Well I would say this is sort of good news for the Rockets. They can get out from under this money and rebuild a little bit. They weren’t going anywhere with Harden and Westbrook together. I call this good news for Rockets fans.

    • windycitykid89

      Nobody is going to trade for Westbrook. The Rockets are probably going to want what they gave up in return to even start the convo. They’re screwed

      • I don’t think they can reasonably ask for what they gave up. Now it’s the point of accepting their losses and trying to get out of the FUTURE money. I think somebody will definitely take a flyer. We mustn’t forget Westbrook is one of the most incredible athletes on the face of the planet. Physical gifts + a tunnel vision mentality of taking on the world. Somebody will want that.

        • PhillyPhan69

          Really only a team like the Knicks IMO (or similar setting) where he can be the man, pad his stats and give relevance to a team that is struggling. I don’t see him as a guy you can build around and maybe not even win with.

      • Jason Lancaster

        Nobody?

        Charlotte, Orlando, and the Knicks are all going nowhere. Westbrook would make each of these teams substantially better, and odds are they wouldn’t have to give up much to get him.

        If you’re one of these teams, what’s worse:

        a) Trading for a big contract, but getting a player that can sell tickets and put you in the playoff conversation or,

        b) Spending the next 4 years being mediocre, wasting whatever cap space you have on free agents that charge a premium to come to your town?

        To say nothing of the fact that there’s at least one good team willing to take a chance on Westbrook to shake things up (Phoenix, perhaps? Utah?).

        • Black Ace57

          Maybe westbrook 5 years ago gets the Knicks into the playoffs, but current Westbrook does nothing for you but make your lottery draft pick worse.

        • I give no fox

          Lol @ paying a premium to sign free agents so you trade for a guy making the supermax

        • Appalachian_Outlaw

          From a Charlotte fan’s perspective, I don’t want Russ. Obviously he’d make the team somewhat better this season and maybe next, but the dude is starting to decline. Taking on a huge cap figure to just make the playoffs with no real chance to win a championship isn’t a great plan. You’re just stuck in the middle with no way to really improve, which is where Charlotte just fought so hard to escape.

          It doesn’t have to be A or B. You can just keep drafting and building with young players.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        They gave up two first round picks to get rid of CP3, not to get Russ. There will be plenty of teams willing to give fair value for Westbrook, who is still in his prime and will make almost any team better.

        • Otogar

          They gave up 2 picks and 2 swaps to get rid of CP3 and now they will have to give up something valuable as well to get rid of RW.

      • siggers84

        Don’t know how you can think that. Milwaukee, Toronto if Vanvleet leaves, Magic, Wizards, Hornets, Bulls, Knicks, Pistons, Cavs, Thunder, Jazz, Suns, Spurs, Pelicans and Timberwolves would possibly consider taking him if they didn’t have to give up too much.

        • Otogar

          How do you trade for a 40+M player without giving up too much? This is why Houston would have to add a sweetener. Too bad they don’t have any remaining.

    • julyn82001

      Sorry, not a rockets fan here, but is it that Westbrook who seems always unhappy – or disgruntled – or is it the big money he makes???

  2. Sillivan

    I’d guess that there was a phone call between Westbrook and his friend Paul George recently.

  3. GoLandCrabs

    LOL good luck Houston. No one is taking on his contract that is worse than CP3s. Rockets are nearing a 6+ year rebuild.

      • jacobsigel1025

        Herro has a ton of trade value and Westbrook has a massive deal that most teams won’t be willing to take on

        • brownscavsr4me

          Including the heat… why buy into a declining russ with next years free agency around the corner? Especially when FAs want to play there

          • jacobsigel1025

            Miami is in win now mode and Goran Dragic is a free agent. If you paid attention to the playoffs, they were barely playing Nunn at all. Nunn had a good rookie season but I don’t think he can be the starting point guard of a championship team.

            • x%sure

              Nunn was just young and the Heat are strong enough upstairs to recognize that nd not coddle his ego. It worked. Nunn will get more consistent like any youngster and has the quality.

              That trade to Miami would not even be considered. Westbrook can move but only for another bad contract or a mediocre one and firsts… not budding stars.

            • I give no fox

              The heat are making a play for giannis, acquiring Russ takes them out of that race. Unless giannis signs his extension, most teams won’t sacrifice the opportunity to acquire him by bringing in Westbrook

        • Reflect

          Yeah I been attached to some wonder bread but I’m not gonna trade my house for that

    • The Howler

      Trading away two decent 3 pt. shooters to bring a terrible 3 pt. In to join another terrible 3 pt. shooter (Butler) does not look like a championship play.

    • Strike Four

      Why yes, I was just watching a youtube video called “Stephen Curry Team USA Offense Highlights (2014) – 3 Point GOD!” in which he teams up with Harden magnificently, thanks for asking.

      GSW going to end up with Steph, Giannis, AD and Harden LMAO

      • arc89

        Warriors have the offense they just need the defense now. Jeremy Lin will be Curry’s back up point guard on a minimum deal. Put wiseman in the middle and just tell him to rebound and set picks.

        • x%sure

          Then you want Okongwu not Wiseman!

          And then Giannis, AD, and Harden LMAO! And DH SMH

  4. Sillivan

    Now Clippers can offer this package for Westbrook
    Morris – age 31
    Beverley – age 32
    Zubac – age 23

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Surprise you did not say Horford for Westbrook straight up because of the large contract. Ha ha. Could work on the clippers…why not?

      • Sillivan

        Horford and Love have no market these days.
        In other words, nobody wants them.

        • x%sure

          You mean their contracts. Random noise from Silli. Thing about Westbrook— people aren’t sure about HIM nevermind the contract!

        • PhillyPhan69

          Horford probably does not have much value…but I am hopeful lol…either way I don’t want Russ and wouldn’t even trade Al for him.

      • Sillivan

        Clippers can sign one year 17M contract with Morris.
        Rockets projected $137M salary. They would like to cut costs.

  5. Little_Dunker_45

    This is troubling for Houston… but maybe will lead to something good I hope. Shame to waste talent like Harden..he is a great. Time to try something new though i guess. Tough times 4 everyone.

    • Jason Lancaster

      But you kind of expected this, right?

      I mean, when the owner pinches pennies and then fires a highly successful GM and coach because…reasons, the writing was on the wall I think. :)

      • CastielStrife

        It was time for D’Antoni to go, and technically he wasn’t fired. He just didn’t hear from the owner in the time frame he wanted so he chose to announce he wasn’t returning to the team. D’Antoni had his chance here, and he wasn’t able to produce a ring. It’s a business. As for Morey, as good of a GM as he most certainly can be and was often for the Rockets, he still left them with a barren cupboard. It was probably time for him to go too. Again, all the moves and no ring.

        That being said, you’re absolutely right that the owner is a penny pincher and I have zero faith in him. I just hope that at some point in the not so distant future they are able to win in spite of the owner, because it sure won’t be because of.

        • Jason Lancaster

          Well, it might be “time to go,” but if it grenades a pretty good team, it might be the wrong move.

  6. KnickerbockerAl

    Houston is a dead franchise. This mix ain’t going anywhere. Knicks will take Westbrook no problema. We have plenty of expiring contracts. We’ll even throw in a future pick. NYC will love Westbrook at PG. He can lead us to prominence. Three yrs on contract. I three years we will be a contender. He can help get us there. NY will live him for that.

    • brownscavsr4me

      I get your want for a superstar, but the last guys you had in Melo and Amar’e went to the Knicks and didnt live up to expectations. Russ is even further into decline in his career than they were. IMO keep building from young guys like you are

    • padam

      Knicks aren’t taking Westbrook. In fact, no one is. He’s got the worst contract out there and nothing backing it up except for a stat sheet. Love his motor, but he’s not getting younger and his salary is getting higher.

  7. phillyballers

    Lmao… so Knicks, Hornets, Sixers, Chicago?

    A hilarious trade would be… CP3 to the Suns, Oubre/Rubio/Johnson to the Rockets, Westbrook and a 1st or 2 2nds to the Thunder.

    • That’s why I was saying a few days or a week ago the rockets need to trade James Harden. They could get more back and start the rebuild quicker. A lot of teams would love to have James Harden.

    • PhillyPhan69

      Yes, get what you can or give him away for whatever costs you the least to be rid of him..but unloading him should be a net win in most scenarios

  8. raz427

    Would a Tobias Harris + 2nd rounder work for Westbrook?

    Salaries seem to align.

    • jacobsigel1025

      It would make a lot more sense from a fit standpoint for Philly to deal Simmons if they’re getting Westbrook

      • raz427

        I think Simmons will never be that 25 PPG guy but he’s also as valuable with his defense on the perimeter, his athleticism, his basketball IQ. He can sit in the post and have Russ feed him in the post all day. It helps them reset that cap a bit for 2022 and beyond.

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      I don’t see Philly trading for Westbrook – bringing him in just multiplies the fit issue between Embiid and Simmons.

      And I think Philly deals the older and less healthy Embiid before they give up on Simmons. Either way, they need shooting, not Westbrook.

      • raz427

        Hmm, why not Washington then? I mean John Wall practically is useless and injured last few years but younger. I’d have to see the assets they have before I can make an actual proposal but it would revolve around wall.

        • implant

          Thats could work but I have a few questions. Is wall healthy enough to play for the Rockets and would Westbrook be an upgrade for the Wiz and would they be competitive Sounds like Westbrook is gonna wanna play in a few select cities and DC aint one of them

  9. Little_Dunker_45

    Westbrook may not be worth his large salary but I cannot sit here and listen to someone say he is not valuable. Still good slashing, rebounding. Big personality means Jersey sales which a franchise would like maybe…he has a name

    • Strike Four

      Westbrook would be actually more valuable if he knew how to be a supporting player and not the focus. Curry plays off-ball, I’d love to see Russ do that.

      • Little_Dunker_45

        Yes we saw at times when he took backseat to Harden houston had some good games. Moved away from chucking 3s and let James lead. Maybe 1 yr older he will be 1 yr wiser. Look at Rondo under Lebron…where did they go this year

    • buttholesurfer69

      he’s good yes but for not for what you’d have to pay him. il

  10. Black Ace57

    Where is that Harden Westbrook guy? Want to hear his opinions on this lol

  11. DeathbyDeathwest

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Sorry. Just had to give my two cents on the topic.

  12. Strike Four

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    AAAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAA

    Death 2 all Houston pro sports franchises!!! LOL

      • Strike Four

        Delusional Rockets fan is still extremely delusional, film at 11

        Enjoy being cellar dwellers starting after next season.

  13. Sillivan

    Rockets will sell low.
    Westbrook clearly has market
    The most available players on the trading block
    Al Horford – no market
    Kevin Love – no market
    Chris Paul
    Westbrook
    LaMarcus Aldridge
    DeMar DeRozan,

  14. implant

    So the Rockets get rid of CP3 to bring Hardens friend to Houston. Now he wants out. Lakers sure did leave that franchise in smolders. I’ve said all sling that Westbrook is underrated. He is not a media darling and that bleeds over to the fans. It’s easier building a team around him than it is Harden.

  15. Jason Lancaster

    I can see a few teams having interest in Westbrook. Mostly bad teams, but maybe a couple of good ones. We’ll see.

    However, unless either a) Russell’s feelings are hurt because of recent comments the new Houston GM made about building around Harden, or b) Russell thinks he can force his way to the Clippers, my guess is that Harden has made a trade request and we just haven’t heard about it yet.

    I mean, why would Russell want out unless Harden had already said he wanted out too?

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Big shame Frittatata didn’t try to trade him already. Now his leverage all gone…lol

    • Otogar

      Russell is used to having a team that plays for him, taking the back seat probably is not easy (especially if the results at the end of the year don’t improve). Plus his fit with Harden and the Rockets style of play is not ideal.

    • x%sure

      If those GM comments were not intentional… he screwed up.

      Per th article^, RW & JH both said they were “concerned about the direction of the franchise” . Maybe the GM wanted to assuage JH but that would fail with RW. Maybe reduced his trade value too.

    • Otogar

      Actually, why would he want to stay with a team that is not going to win a ring in the near future, is not an ideal fit for his style of play and where he’s not the leader?

  16. mike.honcho

    This is actually some good news for the ROCKETS ………. they weren’t going anywhere with Russ anyway, now they can trade him for some nice pieces to balance the roster better.

    More than a few inept teams have been wanting to make the playoffs, at any cost, development be damned, ex. SUNS, HAWKS,

    The ROCKETS new GM should be on the phones at this minute.

  17. wildboys

    Julius Randle, Wayne Ellington and Frank Nkilitina to Houston for Westbrook works in the Trade Checker, would Houston need to include picks ? Or Knicks ? Or both ?

    • hiflew

      With Randle, Ellington, & Ntikilina, I would think the Knicks would have to include a pick or two. Perhaps one of the Dallas picks.

      However if it is changed to Randle, Gibson, Knox, & Ntikilina I don’t think the Knicks would need to include a first.

      Since Ellington and Gibson basically cancel each other out, I guess it just depends on whether the Knicks value Knox more or that Dallas pick more. I know most fans would choose keeping the pick, but I don’t think Leon Rose would make the same choice.

    • PhillyPhan69

      Oh IMO if the Rockets want to move Westbrook they will need to be the ones sending out assets not receiving them

  18. WSnotAstros2017

    Never thought Westbrook was a fit here. I liked Harden getting out of OKC and maybe fitting in here as he had Westbrook and Durant. I am sorry but feel this is on Fertitata as well with them gone. I know Lakers May be at top in West will GSW get back in and Denver will Pelicans with Van Gundy. Clippers still in there. I just do not see things with this same bunch this season. Not sure what Silas will be like but like DAntoni with Houston wanted to give him a shot but then he and Morey fell out of favor. But guess time will tell what happens.

    • goastros123

      Theoritically Russ could work in Houston. I noticed that Harden would get double teamed when bringing the ball up. Russ should’ve been bringing the ball up and draw the double team, thus leaving Harden open.

  19. Weird thinking a year ago CP3 was the contract nobody wanted to touch since he was older. Now you got teams lining up for him while Russ is the contract nobody wants

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      No, the Thunder will still have a much harder time trading Chris Paul (35, going on 36) who is a huge risk for anyone with his long history of injuries. Meanwhile if/when the Rockets trade Westbrook there will be far more suitors for a player in his prime just about to turn 32.

        • x%sure

          Interesting test, the fates of CP vs RW. I doubt anyone has a team they want to put RW in the middle of.

      • implant

        Its really a question of which point guard teams would rather have. This basically the second year in a row Westbrook is being asked to be traded. Paul had a better year and quite frankly the Rockets were a better team with Paul than they were with Russ.

      • The Howler

        His numbers indicate that he is leaving his prime…taking that first step or two “down the hill.”

      • sn33

        “The Thunder will have a much harder time trading Chris Paul.” I don’t think you have gotten one right all year.

  20. hiflew

    Paul doesn’t have a long history of injuries, at least not serious ones. It’s mostly just soreness, which was code for “load management” before that term came into fashion.

  21. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Westbrook to the Clippers make the most sense, in exchange for Beverley, Williams, Zubac, and a couple of others for salary matching purposes. Zubac would give the Rockets a decent starting center while Lou and Pat give them really good depth in the backcourt. They both played very well in Houston before going to LA in the trade for Chris Paul.

    • GoLandCrabs

      Haha better get on changing that username and selling that Westbrick 0 jersey on eBAY.

  22. Count that baby and a foul!

    He is getting paired up with Griffin in Detroit. Weaver will ride with his boy.

    D. Rose
    L. Kennard
    T. Snell
    And future top 20 protect

    For

    Westbrook

    Mark it!

      • Strike Four

        Houston will literally never get a “good” deal for Russell though, get that out of your head. The best they can get is his money off the books. They will not be getting anyone significant for him.

    • x%sure

      The whole Piston roster adds up to about $72mil… RW is set to make $41mil lol! Of course the trade sides don’t have to match.

      The previous GM wanted Rose to be a tonesetter. This would mix things up. Probably for the good. Better sign Henson though so they can play anyone on defense with RW. He would be Mr.Piston until the kids develop. Keep the pick, they’re going to need it.

  23. Lionel Muggeridge

    Some bad team will take him. Rockets should trade both Russell and Harden. Just hit the rest button

    • Strike Four

      See, you aren’t delusional. Must means you are not a Rockets fan. Shame all 29 other teams fans can see this. Rockets fans out on a lonely island of delusion.

  24. implant

    Its really a question of which point guard teams would rather have. This basically the second year in a row Westbrook is being asked to be traded. Paul had a better year and quite frankly the Rockets were a better team with Paul than they were with Russ.

  25. Simmons>Russ

    1. Russell Westbrook for Terry Rozier, Cody Zeller and a future first

    2. Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon and a future first for Paul George, Pat Beverly and sign and trade Montrez Harrell.

    Deal 2 would be a huge win for Houston in the fact they are getting back pieces which keep them being a contender.

    Deal 1 would be a settle for Houston and probably doesn’t help them at all really. But it’s a return for an in happy player.

    As for the other team, I could see the Hornets making the deal cause MJ is the owner and they haven’t had a star since Kemba walked and Russ is a bigger name.

    As for the Clippers I could see them making that deal just because Kawhi wants a new point guard and cause of the huge choke they had. Having Russ would help carrying a load of the work and what they are giving up ain’t really much. PG has the biggest choke, Harrell is set to walk anyway, and getting Russ for Bev is a big upgrade. Plus the clippers get back Gordon a knock down shooter and a first cause they have none

    • Strike Four

      Houston are getting literally nothing for Westbrook. The best they can do is get his money off the books, and that takes adding Houston picks, not “lesser” players from another team. They probably will not get another player and will need to add draft picks themselves to move him.

  26. siggers84

    Imagine what some of the young up and coming teams would give up for Harden. Trade definitely. One of these teams locked outside the playoffs in the West is going to give up their best young players plus picks. Maybe the Kings?

  27. hoosierhysteria

    BG99…get your meds refilled. Pacers would never trade those 2. Russ wants to get back to LA. Maybe screwy Lue can make it fit.

    • They may or may not resign Oladipo.
      Can you guarantee that Oladipo re-signs?
      What’s the plan if Oladipo doesn’t come back?
      Miles Turner is a solid player; he’s not an all-star caliber player.

      You may want to recalibrate your drug intake.

    • And going to an LA team? For who?
      How does the team receiving Westbrook fit his money into their cap?

      Maybe you should get a script for the medication I’m taking?

  28. Westbrook has little to no value, considering the years and $$ remaining on his contract. He’s also not an easy piece to fit into a team. Clips should decline, unless both PG13 (who has a good relationship with him) and KL agree to reup (informally) based on the trade. Otherwise, they need to improve their team with the right 5 or so guys to surround their stars.

    • Strike Four

      Great take. So insane to see how many Rockets fans actually think they are getting talent back for Westbrook, when his contract is so bad they are going to have to add draft picks and players on their end to any trade.

      • goastros123

        You think Curry ruined multiple franchises when really it was only the Rockets. Lol. Also, Draymond, not an injury, cost the Warriors in 2016.

  29. MasterShake

    I thought this was the most desirable team in NBA to coach “longest playoff appearance streak” and two superstars. Houston will never win anything with Harden on that team.

  30. harden-westbrook-mvps

    The best player available on the trade market right now.

    The Rockets are getting quite the bidding war going for him.

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