The fact that Russell Westbrook wants out of Houston after one year shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. His playstyle and Houston’s system simply don’t match and it doesn’t take rocket science to figure it out.
The Rockets have spent so much time centering their franchise around James Harden that it’s making a lot of other stars not want to entertain the idea of hooping with him.
On the contrary, some teams can benefit from a guy like Westbrook. A quick, athletic guard who can attack the rim and see the floor.
I equate the Hornets to the Thunder in many ways and adding Westbrook to the mix can give Charlotte the chance to reclaim some attention in the Eastern Conference. The Hornets lack identity as their roster is primarily young with their best player being Devonte Graham with small compliments from PJ Washington, and Miles Bridges.
Adding Westbrook to a roster like this creates room for growth. Westbrook does just about everything on the basketball court. Due to a hit in his numbers and play this past season, a team like Charlotte can help him mightily. He’s capable of carrying a team on a nightly basis but in order for this to happen the Hornets need to keep Miles Bridges and Devonte Graham. If you build around a core like that, a playoff berth may be in the sights.
Los Angeles Clippers
What better way to be put into championship conversations than going to the Clippers. A system that never caters to one guy and having two of the best two way players in the league can compliment Westbrook’s play style.
We all saw the heartbreaking and embarrassing playoff run for the Clippers last year as they looked stagnant at times, but Westbrook could help ease the pressure off Paul George and Kawhi. Westbrook likes players who fill the open gaps and cut to the rim. When you have multiple options offensively who can do that, it’s a thing of beauty.
With this addition, this team now becomes an all-out powerhouse on defense (hopefully). Like the Hornets, Westbrook can help find the Clippers’ identity and fix any problems within the locker room.
Ultimately, the Clippers could be the best option to get Westbrook a championship.
The Wizards have been falling off the grid the last few years and Beal is aging in Washington. However, the kicker here is Scott Brooks. Brooks coached Westbrook back in OKC and he knows how Westbrook ticks. Pairing Westbrook with Beal while John Wall slowly gets back to being himself, makes it safe to say that this is an easy playoff team. Out of all the destinations, Washington would be the team to welcome him with open arms. It’s essentially a place where Westbrook can just play ball and make an impact. Hopefully, Houston considers Washington as a potential suitor.
Overall, Westbrook is one of the healthiest players in the league and isn’t known for missing games. I feel like you know what you get when going after a guy like Westbrook; someone who is willing to lay it all on the line every given night and competes at an extremely high level. The only problem he’s faced in Houston is that the system was preventing him from being himself.
When fans around the league say “I hate when guys just hop from team to team” it’s a close minded assumption to say the least. Adam Silver has done a great job of allowing players to have a voice in the NBA. Yes, we all wish that players would learn to grow with the teams they’re on, but the end goal is a championship. Also, it’s hard to mesh with a system that’s already been established five times over before Westbrook got there. That in itself is hard to deal with even after a year.
Which team will the Westbrook Trade impact?