Russell Westbrook wants out of Houston after one season that had a lot of ups and downs for the former MVP. Westbrook had a great regular season but the shortened season due to Coronavirus and later an untimely injury meant Russ wasn’t himself in the playoffs last year. As a result, the Rockets were beat down in 5 games at the hands of the Lakers.
Westbrook has requested a trade, and the best destination for him could be in New Orleans. The Pelicans have Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, and adding Russell Westbrook would create a dynamic trio that would make the playoffs and possibly shock the league. Here is the blockbuster trade idea that sends Russel Westbrook to the New Orleans Pelicans for Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick, Eric Bledsoe, and a future first-round pick.
Trade Package: Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick, Eric Bledsoe, a future first-round pick for Russell Westbrook
The New Orleans Pelicans Superteam
The New Orleans Pelicans are blessed to have 2 potential franchise players on their roster. Zion Williamson is one of the best young prospects in the NBA while Ingram became an All-Star for the first time last season. Williamson only played 24 total games but he showed what he can do by averaging 22.5 PPG in his first season, while Ingram dropped 23.8 PPG in 62 total games played. The Pelicans are certainly on the right track after they traded away one of the best players in the NBA in Anthony Davis as they can actually contend with players who are happy to be there in the long-term. By adding a superstar like Russell Westbrook, New Orleans is one scary team.
First of all, the New Orleans Pelicans lineup will feature Russell Westbrook and Steven Adams back together again. Westbrook and Adams were a very dynamic duo in Oklahoma City because Westbrook’s penetrations in the lane led to easy layups for Steven Adams. Adams also has a nice soft touch a few feet from the rim, so this duo will work great again. Secondly, Westbrook will have Ingram and Zion to play the ball to as well. The amount of athleticism and offensive firepower New Orleans will have is quite scary.
The Western Conference is headed by the Lakers right now, but there is no reason why the Pelicans can’t compete with Zion and Ingram joining Westbrook and Adams. They can push the pace, slow it down for easy shots in the paint for Zion and Adams, or create their own opportunities when Russ and Ingram play isolation. The Pelicans can have a box office team for the ages if Houston agrees to this deal.
The Rockets Build A Team Around James Harden
The Houston Rockets need to keep James Harden on the squad because he means everything to them. He made them title contenders, and after Hakeem Olajuwon, is the most dominant superstar in Houston’s basketball history. Harden is fresh off a season where he averaged 34.3 PPG and made the All-NBA First Team, so losing him would mean the Rockets don’t get equal value no matter what. Trading Harden will mean that the franchise has to rebuild, and the playoff contender days are over.
But a return package of Lonzo Ball, JJ Redick, and Eric Bledsoe acts as both a mix of talent that Harden can play around and also an insurance policy if he still wants to leave. If he stays, the Rockets can still contend in the playoffs because they added more guard play and one of the best shooters in NBA history. Bledsoe averaged 14.9 PPG and made the All-Defensive Second Team this season, so he can replace Westbrook’s explosiveness except add a more defensive mindset.
Lonzo Ball is still a very talented player who has a high ceiling, and he put up 11.8 PPG and 7.0 APG to give Harden more playmaking next to him. Redick shot 45.3% from three last season, and clearly that works for Houston’s style of play. These three guys alongside James Harden, Chris Wood, Eric Gordon, and DeMarcus Cousins are very solid together. However, if Harden does get his wish granted and is traded, the Rockets have Lonzo Ball and Chris Wood as building blocks and can move Bledsoe and Redick to contenders for some draft picks. Lastly, the future pick received from New Orleans adds to their growing stockpile of first-rounders that Houston gave up for the trade of Russell Westbrook.