NBA executive believes Rockets will split up the Harden-Westbrook duo

NBA Trade Rumors, Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook, James Harden
USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets came up short in their efforts of winning an NBA championship after pairing up Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

With Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey no longer with the Rockets organization, it will be fascinating to see if Houston makes some major changes in the offseason.

According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, an NBA executive expressed the belief that Houston will not keep Harden and Westbrook together— resulting in Westbrook being the one the Rockets trade.

“I can’t imagine they are keeping Harden and Russ together,’’ one NBA executive said. “Russ excels best as the best player on a team and Harden needs outside shooters around him – not a ball-dominant guard. I think Russ will be the one traded.’’

If the Rockets do opt to move on from Westbrook in the offseason, it will be fascinating to see which team will pull off the deal. The New York Knicks have been mentioned as a potential option for Houston to pull off a deal.

In a weak Eastern Conference, it’s difficult to envision the Knicks not being able to make a respectable run at a playoff spot with Westbrook. New York would need to add some more supporting cast pieces, but he can certainly help to elevate a team as the main star.

Regardless of what the Rockets decide to do, they need to be careful with how they reconfigure their supporting cast around Harden. He is now 31-years-old is fully under contract for just two more seasons with a player option in 2022-23. Would trading away Russell Westbrook for spare parts really be the best option?

If the Houston Rockets aren’t careful, James Harden could be faced with a situation of needing to look elsewhere if he wants to contend for a championship. The Western Conference is only getting stronger.


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