The Houston Rockets is in the midst of an interesting offseason. After being knocked out of the playoffs by the Golden State Warriors for the second year in a row, the Rockets had an important decision to make. Would Houston stay put and be satisfied in reaching the playoffs in a stacked Western Conference or would they make take the risk to make the necessary changes to keep their championship window open?
The Rockets really went all in by trading Chris Paul and basically all of their draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook. Houston has really gone all-in by going for Westbrook because the draft picks for the Rockets will be affected until 2026.
However, Westbrook is in the prime of his NBA career after averaging a triple-double for the third straight season in a row (22.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 10.7 apg).
Many NBA experts are for some reason leery of this move because Westbrook’s efficiency dropped some last season and that him and James Harden both need to dribble out the shot clock in order to be effective. However, they did not appear to have a problem when they played on the same team together and went to the NBA Finals as members of the Thunder.
Houston will implement the same method the Thunder used back in the day by staggering their minutes until the fourth quarter. This move will help Houston out the entire season. Although their personal stats may be compromised, they will be more efficient and less fatigued during games and throughout the season.
Another offseason issue that could affect the Rockets is GM Daryl Morey. His tweet in support of the protesters in Hong Kong resulted in China removing all Rockets games from their media for this season. The tweet could cost the NBA billions of dollars. The tweet also affects all of the Rockets players because the media will ask them about Chinese politics for the entire season. Plus, the Rockets plan affects the endorsements that James Harden procures from Chinese corporations. This distraction could possibly derail the season. Thus, I give the Rockets an incomplete grade.