After playing one season with the Houston Rockets, Russell Westbrook does not want to stay with the team, according to reports do Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.
The star point guard has three years left on his contract with a $132.6 million remaining. The Rockets acquired Westbrook in July 2019 from Oklahoma City in a trade in exchange for Chris Paul, two protected first-round picks, and other draft considerations to the Thunder. The trade reunited him along with former OKC Thunder teammate James Harden, who left the team for Houston in October 2012.
The 31-year-old paired with James Harden, helped the Rockets reached the 2020 NBA Western Conference semifinals. The crowned NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Rockets 4-1 in the series.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon reported earlier Wednesday morning that Harden and fellow MVP Russell Westbrook have ”expressed concern about the direction of the franchise.”
This apparently led to a trade request from Westbrook, while Harden remain ‘Locked In’ to the Rockets despite Westbrook wanting out. you can see our updated Sports News here!
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
“Westbrook has informed team officials that he has been uneasy about the team’s accountability and culture, and wants to join a team where he can have a role similar to his prior, floor-general role in Oklahoma City.”
Of course, Westbrook’s wish has no guarantee it will be granted, but history shows and rhymes that an unhappy player of his caliber eventually gets the change of scenery he desires.
This leaves the Rockets in a difficult spot with just over a month until games begin for the 2020-21 season, as it is unclear whether Westbrook can be considered as an asset who would attract a significant return, or if his contract is so poisonous that the Rockets would have to throw in additional assets to get a team to take him on.
We’ll be likely to hear more about the marketplace and Westbrook’s value over the next few weeks, with the NBA Draft scheduled for next Wednesday and free agency opening next Friday.