The Houston Rockets made their first big splash of the offseason at the end of last week, sending Chris Paul and a host of draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Russell Westbrook.
The now-rebuilding Thunder garnered both a 2024 and 2026 first-round pick, protected 1-4, in addition to a 2025 swap, 1-20 protected, and a 2021 swap, again 1-4 protected, in return for the 11-year veteran fresh off a third consecutive season of averaging a triple-double. Westbrook currently sits tied for second all-time with 138 career triple-doubles.
This move comes off the heels of another blockbuster trade that sent superstar Paul George out of OKC to the Los Angeles Clippers in return for three first-round picks (2022, 2024, 2026), two more first-round choices (2021, 2023) and another couple of pick swaps in 2023 and 2025 on top of two active players.
The trade on Houston’s end rekindles the relationship between Westbrook and James Harden who last played together for the Thunder in the 2011 Finals where they fell 4-1 to the Lebron James-Dwayne Wade-Chris Bosh-led Miami Heat.
Westbrook led the Thunder to two more trips to the conference finals in 2013 and 2015 and was the last remaining member on the first team to play in Oklahoma City after the franchise moved there from Seattle.