Report: Westbrook shipped to Rockets for Chris Paul, picks

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul;  first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.

With the move, Westbrook reunites with his former teammate James Harden. Should be interesting to see how the combination of Harden and Westbrook will be in Houston, but for now, with the trade of Paul George and Westbrook, OKC is rebuilding having acquired eight first-round picks since draft night, and Houston is trying to get an NBA title.

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ESPN’s Amin Elhassan on Chris Paul: ‘He wears people out'(VIDEO)

Coming into the 2018-19 NBA season, the Houston Rockets were one of the favorites to win an NBA title. In 2017-18, the Rockets won 65 games and had the best record in the NBA. Houston had the Warriors down 3-2 in the Western Conference Finals, but unfortunately, Chris Paul injured his hamstring in Game 5, and ultimately, the Warriors would defeat the Rockets in 7.

Last season, it was the complete opposite. The Warriors’ Kevin Durant went out in Game 5 with an injured calf, but the Rockets still could not get past the Warriors as they lost in 6 in Western Conference semifinals.

Recently, reports surfaced that Paul and James Harden were having issues with each other and that Paul wanted out of Houston, but according to Paul, he wants to stay with the Rockets. Yesterday, according to the Houston Chronicle, Rockets GM Daryl Morey had this to say at the 3rd Annual NBA Awards:

“I think we’re going to have our starting five, plus a top-level mid-level. Maybe we’ll do better than that,” Morey said. “We’re going to be the favorites in the West, for sure. We were the best team down the stretch with that group, and that’s without adding one more quality player like we’re going to do. Most teams are scrambling to keep their starting unit together. We got ours next year.”

Also, according to the Houston Chronicle, Morey stated that the reports of Paul and Harden not getting along are false.

“That’s definitely not true,” Morey said. “It’s been the strangest part of my career with the media. There have been times we deserve terrible coverage. It’s not now. The discussion should be we are favorites next year and let people beat that up. That’s been really strange for me. It just started and kept going.

Last week, at the 12th Annual Steve Nash Foundation Showdown, ESPN’s Amin Elhassan gave his thoughts on Paul and the Rockets.

“It’s weird because Chris Paul is known to wear people out, and I’m surprised whenever people are surprised by that notion,” Elhassan told Paul Gant. “He wears people out, and so the problem for Houston is if indeed come to the point where they have to trade him: his contract, age, and injury history make it difficult to trade him for value, to get good players in return or to get good contracts in return, or to do without giving up good stuff like picks. If that happens, you gotta say to yourself, okay, does Houston have the appetite to trade him, and understand that we’re not gonna get better in the short run. It remains to be seen.”

The Rockets can do some big things in the Western Conference, especially with the Warriors possibly in transition. Because of the situation with Golden State, all the contending teams should go in big next season, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets are looking to go after Jimmy Butler in a possible sign-and-trade with the 76ers, so if that happens, the Rockets will definitely be a formidable team next season, and will most definitely be one of the favorites next season.

Listen to the complete interview with Elhassan below:

Ex-Rocket Brown on Houston: ‘I don’t think they will have the year they had last year’

The Houston Rockets came into this NBA season with a lot of optimism, and how could they not. Houston won 65 games last season, which was the best record in basketball, and was possibly a Chris Paul injury away from beating the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. That was last year.

So far this season, things have changed for the Rockets. After 23 games, the Rockets are 11-12. With Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute gone, and with the failed Carmelo Anthony experiment, the Rockets are not playing the way they did last season.

While former Rocket Chucky Brown, who won a championship in Houston back in 1995, believes the Rockets can turn it around, he does not think the team will be as good as they were a year ago.

“I think they can turn it around. I don’t think they will have the year they had last year,” Brown recently told the Go4it podcast hosted by Paul Gant. “Trevor Ariza is gone. He was a big piece. I think they defended a lot better last year. I think they can turn it around and play better than what they been playing, but I don’t see them having the same type of year. I don’t see them going to the Western Conference Finals. I don’t see that.”

Chris Paul and James Harden have both missed time with injury this season, so you can look at that as one of the reasons for the slow start, but the Rockets had great chemistry last season and they don’t have that this season.

I think Brown’s assessment is correct. Houston will get better, but they don’t have the chemistry to have the success they had last season; at least not right now.

Report: Ariza, Green suspended 2 games by NBA

Update: Here’s a statement from the NBA on the suspensions:

Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza and guard Gerald Green have each been suspended two games without pay for entering the Los Angeles Clippers’ locker room to confront a player from the opposing team, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred following the Clippers’ 113-102 win over the Rockets on Jan. 15 at Staples Center.  During the league’s investigation, which included more than 20 interviews with executives, staff, coaches and players from both teams, as well as arena personnel, it was determined that Ariza and Green entered the Clippers’ locker room immediately after the game and engaged in a hostile, verbal altercation with several Clippers players.  The league’s investigation further concluded that Rockets players, James Harden and Chris Paul, followed Ariza and Green into the corridor outside the locker room in an effort to defuse the situation, and accordingly, discipline is not warranted.

Ariza and Green will serve their suspensions during the Rockets next two games, Jan. 18 vs. Minnesota and Jan. 20 vs. Golden State.

 

 

The Inside the NBA crew laughs off Clippers, Rockets beef(Watch)

Rockets G Chris Paul came back to Los Angeles to face his former the team the Clippers, but it was not very festive. Paul would get into it with his former Clipper teammate Blake Griffin, which reportedly led to the Rockets’ James Harden, Gerald Green, and Trevor Ariza trying to get into the Clippers’ locker room to confront Blake Griffin and Austin Rivers.

The Inside the NBA found this whole situation funny.

Their reaction was hilarious!

Take a look:

Patrick Beverley requested trade from Rockets

Clippers G Patrick Beverley asked and received a trade from the Rockets. Beverley was apart of the deal that sent Chris Paul to the Rockets back in June. The 29-year-old Beverley told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on The WoJ Podcast why he requested a trade:

“I asked for it. I asked for a bigger opportunity, a bigger chance to display my skills on a high level. And I was fortunate that the Rockets did really good with me and put me in a situation where I can thrive and be successful. They could have really dumped me anywhere, but they did right, and I respect them a lot for it,” explained Beverley.

Beverley should have a bigger opportunity with the new look Clippers.  While he is not Chris Paul, Beverley is a tenacious defender, and a decent replacement.

Beverley averaged 9.5 ppg, 4.2 asts, and 5.9 rpg with the Rockets last season.

Former NBA star Mychal Thompson(Klay’s dad) on Melo to Rockets: ‘Serious threat to the Warriors’

At one point, it seemed that Carmelo Anthony was headed to the Rockets. Now, with a new GM, the Knicks are reportedly open to keeping Anthony in New York. Former NBA player Mychal Thompson, who is the father of the Warriors’ Klay Thompson, believes that Anthony to the Rockets makes them a serious threat to the Warriors, but he does not believe it is enough.

“Overtake the Warriors? I don’t think so, but they’ll be a serious threat to the Warriors,” Thompson told TMZ Sports. “You add Carmelo Anthony to Chris Paul and James Harden, you gotta take them serious.”

Simply put, Thompson believes the Warriors are a special team.

“They just know what it takes to win. They got something special in Oakland.”

Melo to the Rockets definitely gives Houston a chance against the Warriors. Is it enough? I would say no, but injuries can happen. If one of the “Big 4” in Golden State goes down, Houston could supplant the Warriors with Melo, but all things equal, GSW is still the better team.

Listen to Go4it! Guests: Browns CB Jamar Taylor & Rider University asst basketball coach Marlon Guild

We will be talking sports and having fun doing it! We will be joined by Browns CB Jamar Taylor, who will discuss his upcoming football camp, and more. Also, Rider University assistant basketball coach Marlon Guild will join us to discuss NBA free agency and more!

Are the Rockets title contenders with Chris Paul? What’s next for the Clippers? What will the Cavaliers do in free agency?

Chris Paul traded to Rockets for seven players

Update: The Clippers trade Chris Paul to Rocket for Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, DeAndre Liggins, Darrun Hilliard, Kyle Wiltjer ,2018 first-round pick (top-three protected.

According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets are a serious threat to sign Chris Paul.  The 32-year-old Paul recently opted out of his contract with the Clippers.

Last season, James Harden played the point guard position for Houston, but, according to Stein, Harden is very interested in having Paul join the Rockets. Harden has told Paul directly that he wants him in Houston, according to Stein  

In order to make this happen, the Rockets would have to create some cap space. Houston has reportedly made Lou Williams, Ryan Anderson, and Patrick Beverley available.  

If they can find a way to create cap space, maybe Paul to Houston could be a reality.

Doc Rivers believes Chris Paul will stay with Clippers

There has been a lot of talk about the future of Chris Paul with the Clippers. The San Antonio Spurs reportedly might pursue Paul, who is expected to opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.  However, Clippers president/coach Doc Rivers believes that Paul will stay in Los Angeles. When asked by TMZ Sports if Paul is going to stay with the Clippers, Rivers said “absolutely.”

It might be a tall order for the Spurs to sign Paul anyway. According to ESPN, the Spurs would possibly have to do the following:

Spurs would have to renounce the rights to looming free agents Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, and Jonathan Simmons as well as potential free agents Dwayne Dedmon and David Lee. 

They may have to make other moves as well to make it work.

Plus, the Clippers could offer Paul more money (53 million more).   End of the day, the Spurs are cap-strapped; therefore, I don’t see it happening.

However, if there is a will, there is a way!