Russel Westbrook trade deal is one of the biggest game-changer in NBA where Houston Rockets signed him for a massive amount. After Paul George went with the LA Clippers to join Kawhi Leonard, the Oklahoma City Thunder team had no other option. The Thunder team got the young point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and many future draft picks.
A change in the roster was imminent and an older Russel Westbrook had no place in the Oklahoma City. The Rockets were quick enough to ask for a trade giving out Chris Paul and several future picks. But the decision is not as smart as it sounds, because Westbrook is not the same player as he was before. Here are the reasons why Rockets had wasted money on Westbrook and how the deal would be a horrible mistake to them.
Age Issue of Russel Westbrook
Even though Russel Westbrook won the MVP title of NBA 2017, it does not mean he will always be in the same form. In the last season, Westbrook had a record 20 points, 20 rebounds and 20 assists in a single game. But the fact remains is that it won’t last long as he is already 31 years old. Most of the NBA players are in their prime stage when they are around 27 years old.
Quick thought on the @HoustonRockets
Neither @russwest44 nor @JHarden13 is very young, both 30-31. They have a window of a few years. They can't afford to waste this one with Mike D'Antoni. They need to replace him now.#NBA
— Mitchell Plitnick 🔥 (@MJPlitnick) July 12, 2019
— Brad Gilmore (@bradgilmore) July 17, 2019
Once figure 30 is crossed, the performance and stamina start to decrease. The same thing has happened with LeBron James and it turned out to be a big problem for the LA Lakers. There are high chances that the Rockets also have to go through the old age player problems.
Too much Money on the Deal
The biggest problem for the Houston Rockets in the Westbrook deal is the huge contract amount involved. As of right now, Russel will earn $38.5 million in 2019-20, $41.4 million in 2020-21 and then $44.2 million in the 2021-22 season.
The thing to focus here is that when the last season arrives Westbrook will be 34 years old and won’t be able to play as per the worth of his money. The Rockets don’t have many options as Westbrook will be very hard to trade at that point. Even James Harden will be above 3o at that time and the Rockets will realize their mistakes, but it will be too late.