The Houston Rockets decided to part ways with star point guard Chris Paul and added Russell Westbrook in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets believe that with the addition of Westbrook, their time to win the NBA title is now. General manager Daryl Morey actually thinks Houston’s chances for the championship increased by 30 percent.
“The addition of Westbrook, an elite scorer and playmaker in his own right, should help ease Harden’s burden… Adding Westbrook boosted the Rockets’ odds of winning the title by about 30 percent,” Morey said. “It also helps that the Warriors aren’t the Warriors anymore. Now is our best chance. The good news for the Rockets: Hall of Fame talents generally age better than average players. And Harden’s game in particular—which relies on footwork, basketball I.Q. and smooth shooting more than pure athleticism—should age well.” Morey also acknowledged that “30 to 34 are extremely critical years.”
— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) September 21, 2019
Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta recently said that if the team doesn’t capitalize in the short-term, their long-term future could be troublesome as they focused on making a championship team now.
“I think we put ourselves in the position that if we don’t win it in the next three or four years, we probably aren’t going to win one in the next 10 years,” Fertitta said. “This is our window, and we need to seize the opportunity… This is the time. I just re-signed Eric Gordon who is 30 and I’ve got Russell [Westbrook] and James [Harden] and Eric and Clint Capela for the next four years. P.J. [Tucker] is 34 and our two stars are 30. So this is their window. Let’s seize the opportunity.”
Although there are some concerns on the chemistry between James Harden and Westbrook, both Fertitta and Harden are confident.
“Russ isn’t just like one of my old teammates that I was in Oklahoma City with; Russ has been my brother since I was 10,” Harden said. “Our communication is different. The way we talk to each other is different.”
H/T: Bleacher Report