Summer League crowd laughed when Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul trade was shown on jumbotron
You weren’t the only one overwhelmed by news of the latest blockbuster NBA trade. When the deal involving Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul was posted on the video board at Thomas & Mack Center during Las Vegas Summer League play, a crowd delirious from an offseason marked by wholesale roster turnover and binging summer basketball apparently couldn’t muster a response other than laughter.
Crowd at Thomas& Mack was laughing when the Chris Paul, James Harden commercial came on the big screen. Clutch no!
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 12, 2019
The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Westbrook to the Houston Rockets on Thursday in exchange for Paul, two future first-round picks, and two pick swaps. The deal comes in wake of an even bigger stunner, Oklahoma City’s trade of Paul George to the LA Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danillo Gallinari, and an unprecedented trove of future draft assets, that set the stage for Westbrook’s departure from Oklahoma City.
Another deal is likely coming soon, too. Multiple reports since Paul’s acquisition by the Thunder suggest general manager Sam Presti is willing and ready to pick up the phone and begin trade discussions with the Miami Heat if the future Hall of Famer has interest in continuing his career in South Beach alongside Jimmy Butler.
Even before Thursday’s deal, a whopping five of the 15 reigning All-NBA selections had switched teams. Westbrook’s move to the Rockets marks the sixth such change, and Paul’s uncertain status could re-shape the league landscape to a similar extent if he finds his way to a team other than Miami – say, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Paul will almost certainly be on the move next. Stay tuned.