WOJ BOMB: Russ Traded to Rockets for CP3 and Draft Picks

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While Thunder superstar point guard Russell Westbrook, the most beloved Thunder player ever, was hanging out at Tulsa's famous Cain's Ballroom getting ready to host a standup comedy show he and his WhyNot? Foundation were sponsoring, he found out he'd been traded.

To the rival Rockets.

For Chris Paul, the point guard Oklahoma City loved long ago.

No joke.

 

Westbrook cancelled a media availability just as news of the trade was breaking. Ever since Paul George forced his way out of OKC, Thunder fans had been bracing for Westbrook to be traded away too. The destination, thought by most to be Miami, an Eastern Conference team, turned out to be Houston, a Western Conference rival.

Westbrook is believed to have had the Heat and Rockets as two teams he would prefer Thunder GM Sam Presti work a deal with and Presti obliged. When talks broke down with the Heat when Miami refused to include young players the Thunder wanted Presti turned his attention to the Rockets.

Westbrook will now be reuniting with old teammate and good friend James Harden. The pair will have a great shot at a championship. The move will also force Rockets fans, who've hated on Westbrook for years, to start loving him. Old tweets are probably being deleted left and right.

Meanwhile CP3 is coming back home sort of. He began his career in Oklahoma City when the then New Orleans Hornets had to abandon the Crescent City in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Hornets spent two years in OKC and Paul was the city's first love among NBA players.

The Thunder are also receiving a batch of draft picks from Houston.

 
 
 
 

The Thunder aren't getting any cap or tax relief with this deal. Westbrook and Paul make the same salaries this year. CP3's contract is pretty much identical to Westbrook's except it's a year shorter. It will be difficult to trade away or buy out and it's impossible to stretch. So the Thunder may well decide to get under the luxury tax with another move or two since they were almost there anyway and keep Chris Paul in order to stay competitive on the floor (or at least try to).

A third team, maybe even the Heat, could be brought in on this deal as nothing is official yet. Paul and his agent Leon Rose will talk with Presti about those possibilities.

More moves are coming.

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