While all the buzz had been about the Thunder trying to trade Westbrook to Miami — a place Westbrook was interested in — that was a complicated trade because Oklahoma City wanted to dump extra salary and Miami was up against the hard cap.
Enter a trade to the Houston Rockets and a swap of big contracts for Chris Paul, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, pick swaps in 2021 and 2025, league sources tell ESPN.
There was a lot of talk floating around Summer League in Las Vegas that Harden and Westbrook wanted to team up again, a lot of smoke and, apparently, enough fire too that it got done.
In the past year there had been tension about the style of play in Houston between Harden and Paul — Harden thrives in isolation, Paul’s game has slowed a step and he wanted more picks and more ball movement — so for the Rockets this is a player that fits what Harden wants. That said, there is only one ball and two guys who want to dominate it. Mike D’Antoni, in a lame-duck year, has some work to do to get everyone to sacrifice a little. What we can say for sure is the Rockets will be an isolation heavy team, but with so much skill at that style they will be difficult to stop.
Also, Westbrook is a talent upgrade over CP3 at this point in their careers.
The Rockets remain title contenders right in the thick of a Western Conference at least five deep with teams that believe they have a shot at the title.
The Thunder say they are excited to have CP3 as part of a good core, but the smart money is they will not keep Chris Paul long term. However, trading him will be a challenge (he has three years, $124 million on his contract, and he wants to play for a contender).
The Thunder just keep stockpiling picks for a rebuild.
Sources: Pick protections in Thunder/Rockets, Russell Westbrook/Chris Paul trade: 2024 first round pick, protected 1-4 2026 first round pick, protected 1-4 2025 swap, 1-20 protected 2021 swap, protected 1-4 — OKC can swap Clippers pick or Heat pick.
The junior averaged 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game for the Buffaloes. Bey shot 53% from the field overall and 74.3% at the free throw line.
Bey also extended his range a bit in his third year at Colorado. He knocked down 13-of-31 three-pointers (41.9%) on the season. At just six-foot-seven, he’ll need to be able to score from behind the arc to find a place in the NBA.
Most draft analysts have Bey pegged as an early second-round pick. Some thought he could play his way into the back-end of the first-round with strong pre-draft workouts. With the pre-draft process up in the air, NBA front offices may have to make their decisions based on what they’ve already seen in person and on tape.
Stephon Marbury has arrangement to procure 10 million medical masks for New York
Former NBA player Stephon Marbury told The New York Post that he’s arranged a deal to deliver 10 million N95 medical masks to New York. These masks are much-needed among healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marbury is having the masks produced at cost in China, where he played the last seven years of his career.
Although Marbury currently lives in Beijing, China, he said “At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn. This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”
While growing up, Marbury starred at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn and on New York City’s famed playgrounds. After one year at Georgia Tech, Marbury left for the NBA. The high-scoring guard played for five teams during his 13-year NBA career, including his hometown New York Knicks.
After sitting out for two seasons, Marbury signed to play for the Beijing Ducks in 2011. The move was initially seen as a way for Marbury to prove he could still play at an NBA level. Instead, Beijing became home-away-from home for the New Yorker.
Marbury averaged 21.6 points per game in 271 contests spread over seven seasons with the Ducks.
Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung declares for 2020 NBA Draft
McClung first came to national prominence when his high school highlights blew up on YouTube:
In his second season at Georgetown, McClung averaged 15.7 points and 1.4 steals per game. A foot injury in late-January kept McClung out of the lineup for nearly a month. He returned for one game in late-February, but played just eight minutes off the Hoyas’ bench.
The six-foot-two guard is known for his deep shooting range and his highlight dunks. McClung’s shot is inconsistent however, as he shot under 40% in each of his first two seasons at Georgetown. McClung’s defense also needs work.
McClung projects to be a point guard in the NBA, due to his size. To make it as a lead guard, he’ll need to work on his ballhandling and playmaking. With those question marks, McClung is seen as a stretch to be drafted in the second round.
McClung stated he’s signing with an NBA/NCAA approved agent. That will allow him to keep his college eligibility as he goes through the pre-draft process.
Report: NBA Together asks players who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating plasma
(Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the NBA Together initiative is asking NBA players who have recovered from coronavirus to consider donating plasma:
Sources: The NBA’s “NBA Together” program is supporting National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project of top specialists on plasma as potential treatment for coronavirus — and has asked for team individuals who have recovered to consider donating plasma.
NBA Together was created in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season.
One of the efforts NBA Together is supporting is the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. This project has brought together top medical specialists to determine if plasma donations could help in treating coronavirus.
Several NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19. This group includes Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics and Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons. All players reported either feeling no symptoms or have recovered from the affliction.