Sports News

Sources: OKC change Russ with Rockets for Paul

The Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder has agreed on a blockbuster to ship Russell Westbrook to Houston Rockets to reunite with James Harden, ESPN sources advised the league.

The Rockets will ship guard Chris Paul, two chosen first-round picks (2024 and 2026, each protected 1-Four) and two picks (2021 and 2025) to the Thunder, advised ESPN sources near the league .

The Rockets carry collectively two former MVP guards who began their profession with the Thunder. Harden and Westbrook have been enthusiastic in regards to the deal, League sources stated.

Thunder's basic supervisor, Sam Presti, has labored with Westbrook and his agent, Thad Foucher, to assist honor the Star Guard's hopes of taking part in with the Rockets, League sources stated. The Thunder additionally mentioned a potential take care of the Miami Warmth, sources stated.

Yr First gamers2020: 2 (personal; DEN) 2021: 2 (personal; MIA; can commerce with HOU) 2022: 2 (personal; LAC) 2023: 2 (personal; MIA; can commerce with / LAC) 2024: three (personal ; LAC; HOU) 2025: 1 (clear; can change with LAC / HOU) 2026: three (personal; LAC; HOU) – Some selections might not transmit
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In doing so, the Rockets estimate that the age distinction between Paul (34) and Westbrook (30) offers them a greater probability of extending Harden's championship window (subsequent 30 months).

"We’re delighted to have Russell Westbrook," Rockman proprietor Tilman Fertitta advised Fox. "I’d watch him play for Oklahoma Metropolis and he's so sporty on the identical time, this franchise simply has two years with the best variety of consecutive wins and we might not have managed that with out Chris Paul Chris Paul is superb and we are going to miss him quite a bit. "

Oklahoma Metropolis has racked up eight first-round picks for the reason that June 20 NBA draft, creating a protracted, invisible match within the NBA's current historical past. With the likelihood that Oklahoma Metropolis retains its personal picks for 2020 (among the many 20 finest protected in Philadelphia) and within the 2022 (lottery safety in Atlanta), the Thunder may have 15 first-round picks and swap rights in 4 totally different seasons between 2020 and 2026.

The Thunder may proceed working to discover a new group for Paul, 34, stated league sources. Paul is three years previous, with $ 124 million left, a yr lower than Westbrook would have had within the Thunder's data. If the Thunder preserve Paul, they are going to have a consultant formation that features him right now, together with middle Steven Adams and ahead Danilo Gallinari.

If Oklahoma Metropolis needed to entice Paul to an change, the Thunder may use a few of its enormous inventory of option to facilitate the conclusion of an settlement. Paul has a optimistic observe document in Oklahoma Metropolis, after taking part in with the Hornets from 2005-06, when Hurricane Katrina compelled the franchise to relocate quickly.

Presti spoke to Paul's agent, Leon Rose, of the guard's future in Oklahoma Metropolis, sources advised ESPN. They labored collectively final yr on an identical state of affairs with Carmelo Anthony.

Caesars Sportsbook pushed the Rockets 10-1 to 7-1 to win the NBA title 2019-2020, behind the Los Angeles Lakers (7-2), LA Clippers (Four-1) and Milwaukee Bucks (9-2).

"I stated on the finish of the yr that we’d by no means think about," Fertitta stated. "We’ll all the time attempt to enhance, I believe it makes us a greater group, I don’t prefer to lose Chris Paul, however we felt like we had finished what we needed to do to grow to be a greater group. .

"I believe it will likely be very attention-grabbing and enjoyable, James and Russell needed to play collectively, it ought to be enjoyable this yr."

Westbrook and Harden would be the fourth pair of teammates to play collectively after successful a most dear participant title within the earlier three seasons, by Elias Sports activities Bureau.

Westbrook is 4 years previous and has $ 171 million remaining on his contract, with a participant possibility within the last yr of his contract, which ought to carry him $ 47 million if he chooses to take part.

After Paul George's commerce with the Clippers, Westbrook and Foucher labored with the Thunder to discover a good means for Westbrook's future with the franchise. With free commerce concluded and Westbrook's record of favourite locations extraordinarily brief, the calendar made enterprise negotiations sophisticated.

However, the Thunder needed to fulfill Westbrook's needs as a lot as potential. He needed above all to reconnect with Harden in Houston, whereas discovering a job that matches the aim of OKC reconstruction.

Fourth total by the Thunder (then the Seattle SuperSonics) in 2008, Westbrook stays absolutely the chief within the factors franchise (18,859) and the second in help (6,897), the third in rebounds (5,760) and the flights (1,442) and the fourth within the video games performed (821). Within the period of Oklahoma Metropolis, Westbrook ranks first.

Westbrook gained the MVP in 2016-17, making the NBA the primary participant since Oscar Robertson in 1962 to attain the typical of a triple-double. He beat Robertson's triple-double mark in a single season with 42, then went on to common a triple-double in two different seasons. Westbrook is tied for the second time ever with Magic Johnson with 138 triple doubles in profession, behind Robertson (181).

Westbrook is one in all 10 gamers in NBA historical past to attain 15,000 factors, 5,000 rebounds and 5,000 assists with only one franchise, together with seven on the Corridor of Fame. The opposite two are Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Since Westbrook was chosen by OKC, solely Spurs (613) and Rockets (541) have extra wins than Thunder (538). Westbrook was a part of a sequence of historic selections of the Thunder, as the one group within the historical past of the NBA to pick three consecutive MVPs (Kevin Durant, Westbrook and Harden). For the reason that begin of Westbrook, the Thunder have been the one group to have three totally different gamers that rank within the prime three of the MVP vote (Durant, Westbrook and George). OKC has had 16 All-NBA picks since 2009, the very best variety of NBA over this era.

The Thunder performed within the playoffs of every of the three seasons of Westbrook and Harden, shifting from base seed eight in 2009-10 to fourth place in 2010-11 in second place in 2011-12. They reached the finals of the NBA of their final season, bowing 5 occasions in opposition to Miami, earlier than Oklahoma Metropolis didn’t promote Harden to Houston in October.

Westbrook will stay without end linked to the Thunder because the face of the franchise, asserting its loyalty to the group after Durant's departure throughout Durant's departure for the Golden State Warriors in 2016. Westbrook has returned to OKC, stabilizing as properly the record of gamers after which signed a five-year extension in 2017, on the time a very powerful contract within the historical past of the NBA.

Ramona Shelburne's ESPN data was used on this report.

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