The Houston Rockets have continued to break apart over the offseason, with much of their internal issues taking center stage. The Rockets are now dealing with trade demands from their two former league MVPs. However, things are taking a concerning turn for star guard Russell Westbrook‘s situation over the last few days.
Russell Westbrook demands trade
Things have continued to head south for the Houston Rockets this offseason, with internal issues continuing to crop up.
All that has led to star point guard Russell Westbrook to demand a trade. Westbrook has just finished his first campaign with the franchise, where he put together another highly productive season. He averaged 27.2 points on a career-high 47.2% shooting from the floor with 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists.
His strong production earned his ninth All-Star Game selection and second All-NBA Third Team nod. The entire year came off the rails in the playoffs as he struggled with a quad injury in the Orlando Bubble situation. Despite the lingering injury, Westbrook returned in the postseason but notably struggled shooting 24.2% from 3-point range. He also averaged 17.2 points in eight playoff games while committing 3.8 turnovers per contest.
The Rockets are now in a tough spot with Westbrook demanding a trade this offseason. The situation has continued to tumble in a discouraging direction.
The Rockets are having trouble finding a suitable trade
Since Russell Westbrook let the Houston Rockets know that he wants a trade, the momentum has remained slow to build.
There were initially reports that teams such as the LA Clippers, New York Knicks, and Charlotte Hornets interested. However, that hasn’t led to any significant traction toward a move this offseason.
The situation has moved to little reduced interest in Westbrook that is likely due to the star guard’s struggles with injuries, outside shooting consistency, and his massive remaining contract. There is no denying his talent as one of the top players in the league, but he has continued to show his concerning flaws when it comes to the playoffs.
There may now be the sentiment that Westbrook is more a salary-cap burden than a player that can help guide a franchise to an NBA title. He remains a phenomenal all-around talent, but the lack of interest in him around the league in the trade market is quite telling over these last several days.
Uncertain future ahead in Houston
The Houston Rockets have seen the direction of the franchise suddenly go up into flames.
The franchise’s two star players have each expressed trade demands this offseason, shortly after the organization had a significant internal turnover. Longtime general manager Daryl Morey stepped down from his position, and head coach Mike D’Antoni chose not to pick up his contract’s final year.
The Rockets have since hired their replacements, but with James Harden and Russell Westbrook asking for trades, it leaves the team in a tough spot. Houston may have to push forward with a complete rebuild and replenish their roster with youth through the draft by acquiring a slew of draft picks for their star players.
The franchise may have to settle for a lesser trade package then they hoped to obtain for Westbrook. There are teams that will be interested in that decreased rate such as the Knicks and Hornets.
Houston still has the power to run it back another year and keep their two former league MVPs, but it appears that things have moved well past that point. The writing is on the wall for the franchise to move in a new direction and start anew without their star players.