Rockets’ James Harden, Russell Westbrook already called each other the night of the Paul George trade
Per Brian Windhorst via The Hoop Collective Podcast, Harden and Westbrook “started working” on becoming teammates once again after George was traded to the LA Clippers.
Russ and Harden were determined to reunite, per @WindhorstESPN.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 12, 2019
To recall, George was sent to the Clippers in exchange for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round draft picks, and the rights to swap two other first round picks. This subsequently triggered signals that the Thunder are on the verge of rebuilding and that Westbrook might be shipped out soon.
A few weeks prior, rumors mushroomed around the Rockets camp. After the Rockets were booted out early in the postseason, reports revealed that star guards Chris Paul and Harden were not seeing eye to eye. This led to further rumors that the Rockets might trade Paul soon. However, due to his hefty contract, analysts said that it would be close to impossible to get rid of him.
But as it turned out, the Rockets and the Thunder worked something out. Now, Harden and Westbrook are teammates once again. To recall, back in their OKC days, they guided the team to a trip in the NBA Finals against the might Miami Heat squad. Time will only tell if they can do the same in Houston. But it’s safe to say that the bond will always be there.