The long-reported deal that has the Rockets acquiring Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Chris Paul, two future first-round picks (2024 and 2026) and the rights to two first-round swaps (2021 and 2025) was announced by both teams Tuesday evening.
The Thunder owns two of Miami's first-round picks (2021, Top-14 protected in 2023) via the trade which sent Paul George to the LA Clippers. It was clear that Westbrook wanted out of OKC and considering Paul's relationship with James Harden, the deal made sense for both parties.
Some players around the league laughed when union president Chris Paul and his massive contract got dealt to the rebuilding Thunder for Russell Westbrook. Why? Since draft night, Thunder general manager Sam Presti has acquired a remarkable eight first-round picks. Westbrook is coming off his third consecutive season averaging a triple-double while Harden won his second consecutive scoring title averaging 36.1 points per game. They last played together during the 2012 NBA Finals.
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"His legacy here is vast, and he will be honored by the team for all he has done".
So the Heat want their picks back in order to take the 34-year-old point guard's contract onto their books. Paul is the only player in National Basketball Association history to average at least 18.0 points, 9.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals.
The NBA active leader in assists (9,181) and steals (2,122) whose career totals rank seventh and ninth all-time, respectively, Paul was the NBA Rookie of the Year in the 2005-06 season.
"We welcome Chris back to Oklahoma City where as a member of the Hornets he helped to pave the way for the Thunder's arrival in OKC".