The Houston Rockets pulled off an impressive move on Thursday evening when they traded for the 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, in a trade that sent Chris Paul to the Oklahoma City Thunder alongside a bunch of draft picks.
There has been much speculation about the future of the Rockets now that they have a new duo at the Toyota Center. Even though Russ and the Beard shared touches during their days with the Oklahoma City Thunder, people wonder how things could work between the two stars now that they are paired up again.
With two similar styles of play, it’s unclear how the two will fare and what chemistry they will show on the floor. According to Stephen A. Smith, although both Brodie and Harden need to have the ball in his hands constantly, he thinks the Rockets did good trading for the All-Star point guard.
During an appearance on First Take, the analyst broke down how he sees the Texans ahead of next season.
“I’m not trying to act like the Houston Rockets are going to win a championship. D’Antoni is still their coach and I think that’s a huge question mark," Smith said.
“When you look at them in terms of the talent -- Russell Westbrook with James Harden, despite the fact they both are ball hogs and there are adjustments that clearly need to be made, they get along with one another, they’re brothers. Obviously, the talent is undebatable and on top of that, they can’t be guarded in 1-1. Neither one of them.
“Russell Westbrook shot 29% from 3-point range over the last two seasons, 66% from the free throw line last year (career low), he needs to clean that up. But the flip side to it is he can get to the basket at will, he can finish at the basket better than most and he certainly can kick it out to a sniper like James Harden.
“There is no doubt that when you look at the Rockets from a talent perspective is great (...) This is the deal that I think Houston should have made under their circumstances. He (Westbrook) is four years younger than Chris Paul and obviously has a lot more left physically than Chris Paul does and I think this was the right move by the Houston Rockets.”
Just like Stephen A. said, adjustments will need to be made in order to make this team an actual contender for the title. Westbrook is a great addition for them. He and Harden are two great players who were good while they were in different teams. Perhaps this reunion is what the Rockets need to take that last step and have a successful run in the league.