Rockets should keep James Harden and trade Russell Westbrook, per East GM
The future is a bit uncertain for the Houston Rockets, who fell to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the Western Conference Playoffs, 4-1. Will the team’s ownership be looking to keep James Harden and Russell Westbrook together, or do they have other plans?
That question is still looming, but one Eastern Conference general manager believes one of the team’s two All-Stars is more tradable than the other:
“I wouldn’t move Harden,” one Eastern Conference general manager told HoopsHype. “He’s still so good, and they’re too old right now to just start a rebuild unless you’re getting a Jayson Tatum or Luka Doncic to rebuild around. I’d probably run it back in some shape or form, especially with next year being a compressed time period. I would keep all options open, but I wouldn’t be selling Harden just to the highest bidder. In the last two years, they easily could have won it all, so I don’t think it’s fair to panic yet if they lose. Now, if there’s a great deal out there, that’s a different story, but I still think it’s worth riding out one more year. If Westbrook is tradable, get it done.”
Westbrook came to the Rockets as part of a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder before the start of this season — the same deal that sent Chris Paul to OKC. The Brodie played well in the regular season, averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists. However, he struggled to find a rhythm in the playoffs, turning in just 17.9 points and 4.6 assists per outing.
Whether or not the Rockets will actually consider trading Westbrook remains to be seen. They’re still a competitive team, but they simply haven’t managed to get over the proverbial hump. Making things a bit more interesting for Houston is the fact that Mike D’Antoni won’t be returning as the team’s head coach. D’Antoni announced the move on Sunday:
“It’s with tremendous sadness and gratitude that my wife Laurel and I announce that our incredible journey in Houston has ended for now and that we’ll be moving to a new chapter,” D’Antoni said.
For now, we’ll have to wait and see what sort of moves the Rockets make in the offseason. Will Westbrook and Harden be given the opportunity to run it back, or will the two stars be separated yet again?