Even if it’s kind of weird to call a trade that involves Westbrook, a player who averaged a triple-double for the last three seasons, including one season MVP, a “hail mary”, there are quite a few reasons to address it like that, and here are some of the reasons. First and foremost, his character is what makes him hard to be dealt with, because we all know that he is a “stats first” type of guy and he doesn’t fit very well with perimeter players, as he needs big guys in order to run the pick-and-rolls and go hard to the rim.
Second, he had his chances at going for a title run for a few times now, but he didn’t seem to click with either of the All-Star calibre players which he had; an all-time great in Kevin Durant, who is the purest scorer you have ever seen, or with Paul George, who recently had a career season, and for nothing. If he couldn’t find a way to win with these two, especially with Durant, it’s hard to believe that he will do it with any other player.
Houston Rockets made a big risk by trading Chris Paul for Russell Westbrook because the game of basketball is not all just about stats. Westbrook doesn’t know how to play without having the ball in control permanently, and this is where they will have problems when it comes to offense… both him and Harden are ball-dominant players who need to create their own shot. Despite the accolades that Russ has accomplished during the past three years, he won’t be the best suit for the Rockets and especially James Harden, and I personally don’t think that it’s an upgrade, therefore they won’t make it past the second round next year.
A lot of teams have feared to trade for Russell Westbrook, and again, as weird as it can sound, as far as we speak about a former MVP of the league and the one who broke the triple-double season record, he is not a guy who you can rely on if you want to win a championship, period. I can’t wait to see how they will adapt their game style to one another, but until then, coach Mike D’Antoni has a lot of homework to do.