After yesterday’s speculations that both Westbrook and James Harden are unsure regarding their future in the franchise from Texas, the latest insider news is that the former OKC Thunder guard wants to leave Houston.
Shams Charania reported this tonight, adding that James Harden is staying and is committed to his current team per his sources.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 12, 2020
However, the situation with Westbrook is creating a lot of noise throughout the league. Just one year following a blockbusting trade which saw the former MVP coming to Houston, he wants to move on.
The reason for this might be the fact that the Rockets didn’t acquire a big name for their head coaching position. After Mike D’Antoni’s departure, Houston signed Stephen Silas, the son of former NBA coach, Paul, even though they had better solutions earlier.
Even though, the Rockets’ owner Tilman Fertitta stated that the team’s ambitions wouldn’t change and that they still are the title contenders.
Small-ball philosophy saw the Rockets trading away Clint Capela to Atlanta Hawks, and that is something which didn’t work out well. In this trade, they sent some draft picks along the way, the same as in the case of Westbrook’s arrival from OKC. That left them without any choices in the first round at the upcoming draft, and decreased their options in the future.
On the other side, the salary cap is extremely tight, and apparently, there is no way for them to bring some players and strengthen the roster. It is possible that Westbrook evaluated that winning the title with the Rockets is a mission impossible and decided to jump away while he still has time for doing big things.
He is currently on a three-year deal worth $131.5 million, with the player option in 2023. It is interesting to see if there will be any interest in the market for Westbrook, due to his massive contract, which would be a colossal hit for any cap.
In 57 games played for the Rockets, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, had 7.9 rebounds and 7 assist, 1.6 steals, which was way below his stats in the previous years.
For now, there aren’t any indications where might the former MVP continue his career, and it is expected to have more information by the end of the week.