The Rockets assembled a backcourt with historic talent and basketball intelligence, but one also threatened to become undone by a single question: Will James Harden and Chris Paul, both used to dominating the ball, fit together?
We’ll get a sneak peak tomorrow – against Russell Westbrook.
NBA All-Star guard James Harden and backcourt newcomer Chris Paul are expected to team up Sunday for LA Unified in the Drew League in Los Angeles, a source told The Undefeated. This marks the first time the two will play together since Paul was acquired by the Houston Rockets.
The matchup at the famed Pro-Am is even more intriguing due to the fact that LA Unified plays Home Town Favorites, which is expected to star 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook, a source said.
I’m even more intrigued by Westbrook’s participation than the Houston guards.
Few would play with a projected $207 million extension on the table, but not finalized. Why is Westbrook?
Is he just more willing than most to risk injury while a deal is still pending? Does he believe the Thunder would still pay him even if he suffered a catastrophic injury?
Or, most intriguingly, does this signal Westbrook plans to pass on the extension?
He could make the same amount in free agency next summer. Unlike last year’s renegotiation-and-extension, which put more money in his pocket than any other route, there’s not necessarily a financial advantage this time. The only advantage is guaranteeing the super-max salary now just in case something goes wrong in the next year.
But, by playing in this game, Westbrook is showing what he thinks of security.