By: Lucas Kochevar
The NBA stole headlines on Thursday night with the news that Houston had a new sheriff in town. The Rockets traded for star PG Russell Westbrook. The Rockets sent away Chris Paul, two future first round picks, and two pick swaps for the future. The news comes about a week after the Thunder traded Paul George to the Clippers. Once that move was made it was clear that the Thunder and Westbrook were heading towards a divorce. This trade adds to an already crazy off-season where we have seen multiple superstars changing teams.
The analysis on this is that the Rockets offense will depend on if Russ and Harden can share the ball. Westbrook over the last three seasons has averaged a triple-double which is incredible, but that means he controls the ball an enormous amount of time. The problem with that is Harden controls the ball even more as he easily lead the NBA in isolation plays last year. It will be interesting to see what happens in their offense that depends on fast pace plays and shooting.
Westbrook has been plagued with the reputation as a ball hog and shot-chucker. He has often taken a number of jump shots at a high volume and low percentage. He has to realize that this is James Harden's team and he has to fit in there. He has to carve his role as a number two to Harden. Some might think this would be a hard concept, but I believe this transition will be easier than most as they are still good friends from their days together on the Thunder. It will be interesting to see how this duo will play together.
As for the Thunder, its simple. They are in rebuilding mode. They have officially left their glory days in the past and look forward to building their future. They have Chris Paul now, but do NOT get comfortable with him there. I would bet money that he does not start the season off with a Thunder uniform on. Different analysts have reported that Miami would most likely be the front runner for him.