After almost a decade of attempting to contend, the dream of fighting for the title is over for the Houston Rockets. They tried to build the best team possible for James Harden and even got his best friend Russell Westbrook over. But it still failed.
After Westbrook put in a trade request, now Harden also wants to leave the team. Many doubted that there was a rift in their relationship that led to this situation. But ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said that is not the case.
He said he spoke to Westbrook and from their conversation he learned, “His relationship with James Harden is tight. They don’t have a problem in terms of their brotherhood.”
But Smith says the relationship is not the problem. The real problem is that they don’t want to play together. He also spoke about how Westbrook is a half-court player.
He’s a liability on defense and sense is also not a three-point shooter he is the Achilles heel of any team he plays for.
When Harden and Westbrook teamed up for the second time in the Rockets, they were expected to go all the way. But the Lakers dumped them out of the Playoffs in the second round in a 4-1 gentleman’s sweep.
Both Harden and Westbrook struggled in the Playoffs and weren’t able to guide the Rockets to glory.
So both of them have now given up on the team and want to leave. While Harden wants to leave to contend elsewhere, Westbrook’s demand is to be on a team where he is the primary ball-handler.
Harden recently rejected an extension from the Rockets, which was a $103 million offer for 2 years. With that, he has made it clear that he sees no future of contending at Houston and wants his move to Brooklyn to team up with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
On the other hand, Westbrook has been linked to the Hornets and the Knicks. Sending him there will help the Rockets bag some future picks and rebuild.
Both of them have multiple years left on their contract, so the Rockets will take it slow and find the best offer available.
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