The Houston Rockets made news yesterday when they traded Chris Paul and a bunch of first round picks for Russell Westbrook. They reunited old teammates and once again inserted themselves in the conversation for a title. How good are they and can they win it all?
Trading Paul to another team was something that many people expected even though the Rockets were denying the rumors. The dysfunction between Harden and Paul was too much and somebody had to go and it wasn’t going to be Harden. Paul is old and his style of play does not fit well with Harden’s isolation basketball.
Now, acquiring Westbrook was a great move in that they traded Paul away and now have a superior athlete. The bad news is that Westbrook does not take a backseat. He has always been the number one guy and when he finally let another superstar take the helm last year, not much changed. Westbrook’s stats took a hit and the Thunder were eliminated in the first round once again.
I give the Rockets props in moving Paul’s horrible contract but Westbrook’s contract is also expensive. He is going to get paid $47 million in the 2022-2023 season! Wow, that is going to hurt down the line. It would be very unfortunate if the Rockets don’t win considering they will not be able to move Westbrook.
I do not think the Rockets will win in the Western Conference next year. There are too many superteams and the Harden-Westbrook combo is going to fall short. They are gifted offensive players but with little defense, they will not stop other superstars and that will be all she wrote. The good news is that the false hope the Rockets created should keep their fan-base happy for at least another year until the playoffs start.