Yahoo Sources: The Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic had discussed a trade featuring Russell Westbrook for a package centered around Aaron Gordon, but talks never progressed.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 20, 2020
If Orlando walked away from the table on a Westbrook deal, it was the smart move. Gordon has two years, $34.5 million left on his contract, Westbrook has three years, $133 million (counting a $47.1 million option his final season). If Orlando’s goal is to free up the roster and gain flexibility to build around Isaac and just-drafted Cole Anthony, taking on three years of Westbrook defeats that purpose. Plus, Gordon alone would not match up financially in this trade, the Magic would have had to throw someone like Terrence Ross in the deal to make it work, which is a lot to give up in this case.
Houston is kicking the tires on a lot of trades for Westbrook but finding minimal appetite from teams. Charlotte was mentioned as a possibility, but after they drafted LaMelo Ball the franchise will put the ball in his hands and see how it goes. There have been Knicks rumors, but the franchise there is reportedly divided on the move (and, like Orlando, it’s fair to question how bringing in Westbrook helps build a young foundation). There was some talk of a John Wall for Westbrook swap with Washington, but that doesn’t seem to have traction.
Westbrook may have to start the season in Houston while the team looks for a trade.