With the Kawhi Leonard domino having fallen, the NBA arms race is all but over for the summer, right?
With Leonard orchestrating a deal that landed both he and Paul George on the Los Angeles Clippers, the Oklahoma City Thunder now find themselves with a Russell Westbrook quandary. One the Houston Rockets reportedly might be willing to help them with.
After trading George, the Thunder face a rebuilding period and now reportedly are talking to Westbrook and his agent about what's the best next steps for the star point guard, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday.
It seems likely that Westbrook, who still is owed $170 million over the next four years, could be moved prior to the start of the regular season.
With the Western Conference bulking up this offseason in the wake of the changes to the Warriors' roster, a number of teams are looking for that next move to vault them into the conversation with Leonard's Clippers, LeBron James' Lakers and the like.
The Houston Rockets reportedly could be interested in Westbrook being their next move, rival executives told The Athletic's Sam Amick and Brett Dawson.
"Rival executives have also pinpointed the Houston Rockets as a likely suitor, which would come as no surprise considering the way general manager Daryl Morey has prioritized the pursuit of stars during his entire career (not to mention the possible reunion between Westbrook and his old Thunder teammate James Harden)," Amick and Dawson write.
That would be quite the Morey move.
With Kevin Durant now in Brooklyn and Klay Thompson set to be out until at least February with a torn ACL, the Rockets -- like the rest of the West -- see an opening and are looking to knock the Warriors off their Western Conference perch.
Now, would a trio of Westbrook, James Harden and Chris Paul work? It seems unlikely that having three ball-dominant guards on the same team would mesh well together let alone vault the Rockets atop the Western Conference, Morey always has believed star power is the quickest way to a title. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Rockets try and get involved in a trade for Westbrook.
The Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks also have been mentioned as possible trade destinations for Westbrook.
OKC has a tough decision on its hands, but George's trade demand has forced the Thunder to reevaluate their current course, and Westbrook could be headed out as a result.