Fresh off his first season with the Rockets, 31-year-old Russell Westbrook still has a lot to prove to the NBA community. Throughout his 12-year career in the NBA, Russ has only been to the Finals once, and has failed to bring home a title despite being surrounded by some of the greatest players in the game.
With the critics only increasing in number, and Westbrook increasing in age, it seems the star guard is in a race against time to show he really is a player capable of winning at the highest level.
But whether or not he'll be able to do it with Houston is still a question, as rumors indicate a major rebuild could be on the horizon for H-Town.
The good news for Westbrook is, if he is made available in a trade, there are multiple different scenarios that could put him in a position to win -- perhaps none more intriguing than a trade to the LA Clippers, a franchise that is seeking legitimacy in the NBA. There, Russ, Kawhi, and PG would form a powerful trio that would be favored in the West.
Despite the perceived unlikelihood of it actually happening, and what the Clippers would have to give up to pull it off, it's a trade that works for all sides, and one that could shake up the very foundation of the Western Conference.
Rockets Add Depth, Improve Defense
After yet another failed campaign, the Rockets seem close to collapse. Daryl Morey is gone, Mike D'Antoni has departed, and reports are circulating of unrest by the franchise's two stars.
A rebuild can't be out of the question at this point in time, even if it means trading one or both of their backcourt stars.
In exchange for Russ, the Rockets could welcome Montrezl Harrell (via sign and trade), Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, and Rodney McGruder. While those names might not pop, it offers the Rockets major depth in a lineup that would obviously feature Harden. His scoring talents around Williams, Harrell, Gordon, and Covington would be insane.
Beverley also helped gives the Rockets a defensive edge -- something that can never be ignored.
In the end, the deal probably wouldn't see Houston dominate the NBA, but it would keep them afloat until another opportunity arrives. And, really, that's not a terrible place to be.
Clippers Build Unstoppable Superteam
The Clippers are the winners of this hypothetical trade. Their depth was a major boost in '19-20, but giving that up to add Westbrook might be worth it.
The guy is like a freight train driving to the rim. His relentless attack and incredible finishing ability had him putting out about 27.2 points last season. His drives also help make things easier for his teammates, and Russ is often the first to dish out opportunities to others (as evidenced by his 7 assists per game).
Of course, there are concerns about his game, which includes shooting struggles and carelessness with the basketball that can result in critical turnovers late in games.
But with teammates as good as Kawhi and Paul George, the talent alone should be enough to offset those flaws.
The question for them is how they would fill out their second unit with the departures of Harrell, Williams, and Beverley.