Russell Westbrook is a current superstar point guard and sidekick to James Harden in Houston. He is having a sensational season, averaging 27.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 7.0 APG while shooting 47.4% from the field. He is his usual athletic self, attacking the rim every time he gets the ball and opening up space for Houston's shooters.
But the Rockets are in win-now mode and do not have time to waste as long as James Harden is on the squad. While Russ was involved in trade rumors earlier this season, the Rockets made it clear that he was untouchable. But if the Rockets don't get it done in the postseason, that can change overnight.
If the Rockets don't win it all this year, here are the best trade destinations for Russell Westbrook.
6. Denver Nuggets
Trade Package: Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Michael Porter Jr., First Round Pick for Russell Westbrook
If the Rockets want to move on from Russell Westbrook, Denver might have the best trade package for Houston. Denver will offer star point guard and sharpshooter Jamal Murray, promising young forward Porter Jr., and energetic scorer Will Barton. Three guys that can fit Houston's system would be the best way to replace Westbrook's productivity on the court.
For Denver, they would finally get their second All-Star to pair with Nikola Jokic. Russ and Jokic could work together since the latter can space the floor without clogging up the paint for Russ when he attacks. Denver also have a strong basis to possibly grab another All-Star to make Denver a more lethal team to play against in the playoffs.
5. Phoenix Suns
Trade Package: Ricky Rubio, Deandre Ayton, Kelly Oubre for Russell Westbrook
If the Rockets want to move on from Russell Westbrook, Phoenix might have an attractive package of two young players and an effective ball handler. While Rubio isn't needed in Houston's offense to score, he can handle the rock when Harden rests.
Ayton would give Houston some size if they see that small ball doesn't work this year, while Kelly Oubre is an excellent two-way forward that can be a staple in Houston's offense. The Rockets are a franchise that won't settle for mediocrity, so they can switch philosophies if necessary.
4. New York Knicks
Trade Package: Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith for Russell Westbrook
The Knicks are desperate for a superstar, somebody to carry the organization on their jersey and sell out the stadium. Westbrook might be the answer since he still has the ability to impact the game at a high level. The Knicks might get fed up and try to get Westbrook to start attracting other free agents.
The Rockets would get Randle, who can be a center in small-ball, along with Smith and Barrett who can handle the ball and score the ball. Ntilikina isn't a scorer but has the potential to be a dominant perimeter defender, something the Rockets always look for. Barrett is the key here because if he develops into an All-Star, his partnership with Harden would be very intriguing going forward.
3. Miami Heat
Trade Package: Andre Iguodala, Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson for Russell Westbrook
The Miami Heat have Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and an excellent head coach. If they manage to add a player like Russell Westbrook, easily a top-15 player in the game today, the Heat are competing with the Bucks for the best team in the East.
For the Rockets, they would require a mix of two young players and two veterans. Iggy is a perfect forward in today's NBA since he is able to defend multiple positions and also run the break. Olynyk is a stretch center who would excel in Houston's system. Robinson and Herro are excellent shooters and scorers, giving Houston more options to nail threes when Harden is double or triple-teamed.
2. Boston Celtics
Trade Package: Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown for Russell Westbrook
Kemba and Brown would be an excellent haul for Houston if they want to move on from Westbrook. Kemba can closely replicate Westbrook's scoring, although he shoots a much better percentage from three (37.7% compared to 25.4%). He might fit Houston better, although he doesn't quite have Westbrook's intensity and size.
Jaylen Brown is the key piece for Houston because he has the ability to defend multiple positions and also score from outside. Brown and Harden would be a strong front-court duo, and Kemba would add a third scorer for the price of Westbrook. For Boston, Russ gives them a superstar to pair with Tatum and a basis to build a legitimate title contender as the Kings of the East.
1. Los Angeles Clippers
Trade Package: Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell (sign and trade 20M), Landry Shamet for Russell Westbrook
This would be quite a runaround for the Rockets. The team traded Beverley, Williams, and Harrell for Chris Paul, who later was moved for Russell Westbrook. To now have the three former players back would be very interesting. Beverley is one of the best defensive point guards in the league, while Williams is still the best 6th man. Harrell has turned into a beast inside and a star player, so the Rockets would get a good team.
The key here is Landry Shamet, who can let it fly as he shoots 41% from three over his career. These four guys can take up a big part of Houston's rotation around Harden.
For the Clippers; a Big Three of Russ, Kawhi, and George would certainly win an NBA title together. If the Clippers don't get it done this season, they might grab Russ to make it happen next year.