Houston Rockets: The Russell Westbrook trade rumors are preposterous

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The rumors about Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook being traded are flowing. Here’s why it’s all hogwash and far from the truth. Take a look.

The Houston Rockets have a few days to dissect what exactly went wrong in their surprising 116-104 loss to the Golden State Warriors this past Christmas Day.  The matinee stage was set and everything was laid out for the Houston Rockets to win that game but they failed to seize the task that was at hand.

I’d categorize that game as the worst loss of the season because of the expectations that have been set forth for this team this season.  The Warriors are not going places this season and the Houston Rockets should’ve been able to take advantage of that situation as they remained toward the apex of the Western Conference among the elite.

But streaky shooting, shoddy defense and double teams on James Harden created an unimpressive storm that the rest of the Houston Rockets could buffet away, hence the awful performance that they had in the 4th quarter.

In spite of all of that, I’m positive that this team will regroup and get back on track to beating teams that they’re more superior than and be the team that we expected at the start of this season.

On top of all of that, the national media is starting to create some haymakers in regard to disrupting this team chemistry by tossing out rumors that Russell Westbrook could be traded before the deadline in February.

The red-letter date of Dec. 15 has already passed so teams that have made deals for players this offseason are now eligible to trade and that includes Westbrook.

Ryen Russillo of The Ringer, formerly of ESPN, said on his podcast which bears his namesake, that he thinks Westbrook will be traded.

Here’s what he said:

"“I think Westbrook is available. We can talk about semantics Of course, Daryl Morey would trade anyone if he thought it made his team better. Of course, he would trade Westbrook if he could get off of that long-term money, if he thought the assets, the sum of the parts was better than having somebody that’s considered a top-10 player.”“Is Daryl Morey actively calling people, saying, “Hey, I’ve got to dump Westbrook?” Well, of course, he wouldn’t do it that way. But there are people who believe Westbrook is available and that Daryl knows, “I’ve got to figure something out here.”“I’m sure people will deny this after they hear it on the podcast. I don’t care.”"

How can one just throw a sentiment out there without a credible source or any substantial evidence to back this argument up?  I know it’s his opinion that he THINKS he will be traded but that’s not even a possibility, at least for this season or the foreseeable future.

I’ve listened to Russillo for years during the days he was with the worldwide leader in sports reporting and after hearing those comments, I’ve truly lost respect for him.  I just think that his comments are nothing more than a hype moment to inflate the visibility of his podcast.

The price is cheap for him but the cost will be far greater in terms of the personalities this will affect in the locker room as now these players are going to be wondering if Westbrook would actually be traded.

And you better believe that Morey will be doing damage control trying to dispel this hogwash.

I’ve got a news flash for you — he WILL NOT be traded.  The Houston Rockets have made a significant investment in Russ and although it hasn’t been a 100 percent perfect combination with Harden, this team is getting results with these two in the fold.

One of our House of Houston writers, Paul Conlon, put together a Top 10 list of impressive stats a few weeks back that has evolved since the two have been paired recently so the notion of this pairing not working couldn’t be further from the truth.

Paul’s work was a pleasure to read as well as edit because it speaks to the naysayers about Harden’s latest partner in crime and the effect that he has had on this team.

In addition, Westbrook still is owed $124 million over the next three seasons, with an average salary of $41.3M.  That money is going to be tough to move but it isn’t impossible.  I just don’t think Morey would’ve made this move if he didn’t expect this experiment to play out over time.

It’s just hard to fathom trading a guy that was lobbied hard for this offseason after just five months of marriage.

Yes, there’s no question that Westbrook should’ve been driving into the paint more instead of

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settling for three-pointers, to which he was 0-for-8 on the day from behind-the-arc.  But he still was able to manage to put up 30 points and 12 rebounds but his 11-for-32 shooting from the field certainly shows how wildly inefficient he was.  I’m positive he knows he shouldn’t have been anywhere near that three-point line, especially as cold as he was from there.

But that could be said for the majority of this team — yes, I’m talking to you P.J. Tucker, Danuel House and Clint Capela — this past Wednesday, they just have to regroup, band together and stick it to the Brooklyn Nets like they owe them money.

I’m positive that they’ll get it done and what Morey needs to be working on is to find a backup, three-point shooting forward to shore up the interior.  There are whispers that the team is interested in Robert Covington, which would be a reunion of sorts and he’d certainly fit the bill of what they need.

Next. Rockets: 10 emerging stats as a result of the Harden-Russ venture. dark

Let’s keep our fingers crossed…

Westbrook is averaging 24.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists off .426/.238/.791 shooting through 28 starts this season.