The Red94 Podcast: Episode 140 on the Houston Rockets’ stunning trade for Russell Westbrook

  • I really hope this is something that Daryl himself thought was a good idea rather than just a move made for James Harden. For better or worse, and you can’t really blame him, Daryl Morey now has essentially doubled down on Harden, trading for his close friend for what seems like will be the remainder of both players’ primes. The Harden trade was Morey’s signature, career-defining move, and now he’s done everything to ensure the star guard’s happiness here in Houston.
  • As I’ve been saying since last night, this move essentially raises Houston’s ceiling while lowering its floor. Paul was the surgeon who picked teams apart with his brilliance and rarely made a mistake. But his physical abilities had declined to a point where he no longer was reliable against the league’s elite teams, see: not just the semifinals against Golden State but also the loss to Milwaukee where the Rockets needed him to take over after Harden was forced out of his rhythm by an unorthodox Bucks defensive scheme. In a way, Westbrook just increases the variance. But he can shoot you out of so many other games that I don’t even know if I’d adjust the Rockets’ projected win total upwards. They’ll win some games they would not have won otherwise and lose others which might not have been squandered under the security of Paul’s hand.
  • This is Harden insurance because he now won’t be forced to carry the load he did last season, particularly if considering that Paul’s minutes and total games played would have had to have been managed even more closely this season as a preventative measure.
  • I’ve long stated that Russell Westbrook was my least favorite player in all of basketball. I have absolutely despised him, from his low IQ, to his selfish play, to his treatment of media.
  • Paul was one of my most favorite Rockets ever, and I thought there were few things more fascinating than watching him pick a defense apart with surgical precision. There will be ample time to look back on the Paul era and reflect but I will say for now that I actually hope that he was unhappy and did want out, because I can’t help but feel dirty about this whole thing and how he was shipped out, particularly to a rebuilding team. Hopefully the Thunder are able to work with his agent to get him to a desirable destination like Miami as is being reported. I know many of you soured on Paul, particularly after the way his body failed him last season, but he left L.A. and came to Houston because he believed in our team. Now he’s gone.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of

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