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Report: Russell Westbrook actively seeking departure from Rockets

Russell Westbrook, Rockets, James Harden

Houston Rockets All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook is looking to leave Clutch City after just one season, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

There has been major upheaval surrounding the Rockets after the departure of head coach Mike D’Antoni, a two-time Coach of the Year, and longtime general manager Daryl Morey, the architect of the small-ball, 3-point-oriented team led by superstar shooting guard James Harden.

Russell Westbrook was brought into the fold last offseason in a trade surrounding the former MVP and All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder with draft picks for Houston to acquire Harden’s former teammate with OKC.

The Rockets and Thunder met in the first round of the 2020 NBA playoffs in the Walt Disney World bubble, with Houston eking out a series win in seven games.

The Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks have, in the past week, been mentioned as possible destinations for Westbrook, who earns north of $40 million next season from what looks to be any team other than the Rockets in 2020-21.

Westbrook put up really good numbers for the Rockets during the 2019-20 regular season. He averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game and shot 47.2 percent from the field, 25.8 percent from beyond the arc and 76.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Unfortunately, Westbrook contracted COVID-19 and then suffered a quad injury he tried to play through in the 2020 playoffs against the Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers. He wasn’t himself and shot terribly from the field, one of the reasons the Rockets fell to the Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals.

It is going to be fascinating to see where Westbrook is playing next season.