The Thunder were also in trade talks with the Miami Heat involving Westbrook, and now that is a potential landing spot for Paul, if they do deal him as well. The nine-time All-Star does reportedly have his agents, Leon Rose and Steven Heumann, working on moving him to another team. Although, Paul does have three years and $124 million left on his contract, which is one less year than what Westbrook has. CP3 has continued to produce despite dealing with more injuries as of late, finishing with 15.6 points and 8.2 assists per game this past season. He played in just 58 games in each of his two seasons with Houston.
The age difference was the part of the reason that this trade took place, with Paul at 34 years old and Westbrook at 30, so that could give Houston a larger window to win a title. There was also some alleged friction between Paul and James Harden after their loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Playoffs. That was highlighted by Harden saying that he "knew exactly" what they needed to do to get over the hump, but would not say what that was. From there, the rumors of the Rockets putting their entire roster on the trade block turned out to be true once the Thunder blew up their roster.
And Oklahoma City can blame Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, as his buzzer-beater to eliminate the Thunder in the first round ended George's and Westbrook's time in OKC. Instead, both stars have moved on to increase other Western Conference teams' title odds, as the Rockets are now at 7-1, with the Clippers at 4-1, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
Westbrook, who has four years and $171 million left on his contract, ends as the Thunder's all-time leader in points, while also sitting second in assists, third in rebounds, and fourth in games played. He was drafted fourth overall by the Seattle Supersonics at the time in 2008, and leads the team in all offensive categories since they moved to Oklahoma City. He has won the MVP Award once, and became the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1962 to average a triple-double on a season, which Westbrook has since done twice.
He reunites with Harden, whom was his teammate in OKC during the early part of the bearded star's career, as the team made the playoffs each of their three seasons together, including an NBA Finals loss to LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Both have developed in to superstars, but both like to have the ball a lot, and there's no Kevin Durant in the equation, so this time together is expected to be plenty different.