Russell Westbrook is now a member of the Houston Rockets, as weird as that is. The former Oklahoma City Thunder star has been reunited with James Harden, and everyone is making nice about how things will fit next season in Texas.
It’s a little strange to see Westbrook in Rockets garb, and nobody thought that this is where the Thunder would end up heading into the offseason. But Kawhi Leonard forced Sam Presti’s hand in trading Paul George, and moving Westbrook was a logical choice after that.
Things weren’t exactly straightforward when it came to trading Westbrook to Houston. As with any major transaction between NBA teams, it took some finangling and some time.
So much time that in fact Harden even had to ask Rockets general manager Daryl Morey why things were taking so long.
Via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:
“At one point, James asked me, ‘Why is it taking so long?'” Morey said. “I told him, ‘Dude, your trade took me five months.'”
According to Feigen, it actually took six days for things to get all sorted out between Morey and Presti, which isn’t surprising given their history. People have felt like Presti lost the Harden trade to Morey, and it was unclear whether the two would ever do business together again.
But the Thunder aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and getting off of Westbrook’s contract was the right move for Presti even if he had to do a deal with Morey.
It may have taken a little time — seven years, really — but now Harden and Westbrook are back together again.