This NBA shit just doesn't stop. Just when it seemed like free agency was winding down, Russell Westbrook was traded to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and two first round picks. I don't even know what to say. We all figured Russ would get traded but this seems sudden. What a Woj Bomb. Also, let's be sure to mention that Woj leveled up this summer. Guy is putting up MVP numbers across the board.
Ok, back to this trade. The West is brutal right now. Good luck trying to battle those teams every night. My first thought is that I like this trade for Houston because they needed to upgrade from CP3 anyway they could. Whether or not Russ and Harden can mesh is a bigger question that we won't know the answer to right way. But still, Morey went for it and with the league wide open, the Rockets sure have a lot of talent on their team. Per usual, the Complex Sports team cooked up some early winners and losers from the deal, which you can check out below. Hopefully Woj takes a break now, too.
Winner: Russell Westbrook & James Harden
The duo is back together. It's crazy to think that the Thunder had Russ, Harden, and Kevin Durant and only made one NBA Finals appearance. But here we are, with Harden and Russ back together in a loaded Western Conference. Can they win it all? Who knows, but this team is stacked from a talent standpoint.
Loser: Pat Riley & the Miami Heat
I really, really thought Pat Riley was going to be able to pull this off. It was right there, and then poof. Gone. Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook would have been fascinating, but it was just not meant to be. Now Riley needs to go out and find another star to match with Jimmy. Maybe Bradley Beal?
Winner: Daryl Morey
Give props to Morey because it didn't seem like there were any avenues to upgrade this Houston roster this summer and he just added an MVP player to the roster that already had an MVP player. The fact that Houston was able to keep Capela, PJ Tucker, and Eric Gordon in this deal just shows how good Morey is.
Loser: Chris Paul
Man, this is rough for CP3. I know The Athletic is reporting that Chris Paul is expected to stay with the Thunder, but it would be really great to get him on a contender. Not even sure what the Thunder could trade Chris Paul for, but it seems unlikely he would want to be on a team that can't win a title this late in his career.
Winner: Sam Presti
Sam Presti is setting a new record for acquiring draft picks. Between this move and the Paul George trade, Presti and the Thunder have picked up six first round picks and multiple pick swaps. That's wild. It's never easy losing stars, but Presti has done a great job picking up future assets.
Loser: Thunder Fans
Have to really feel for Thunder fans. They had James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Durant and only made it to one NBA Finals. Now all three are out of town and the team will start a full rebuild. Crazy how much the NBA can change so quickly.
Winner: Whoever Wants to Trade for Steven Adams
A contender needs to go and trade for Adams, ASAP. The Thunder are clearly open for business. Go get the big man.
I spent like two hours today cooking up a feature with possible trades to get Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. They were all very complicated due to the money owed to Russ and CP3 and then the teams just traded them for each other. I'll hold this L.
Bonus Winner: Woj
Bow down to that man. What a summer he's had.