2020 NBA Specials: Russell Westbrook Predicted to Join NY Knicks Amid Rockets Exit Rumors

russell westbrook

NBA trade rumors are in full swing following confirmation free agency will begin Friday, November 20, and major attention is focused around the future of Russell Westbrook in particular.

Gossip has been building since The Athletic reported earlier in November that Westbrook has lost faith in the Houston Rockets project, though the situation is complicated by the fact he’s only one season into a three-year contract.

Among those teams linked with a trade for the 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player, the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers come most highly recommended by the sportsbooks at odds of +200 and +325, respectively. 

Odds Shark tipster Joe Osborne suggested the Clippers would be getting a bargain deal if they managed to trade Paul George out of LA for Westbrook, though the landscape will be come clearer after the 2020 NBA Draft:

Another major factor in whether Westbrook will leave this off-season is the immediate future of Houston team-mate James Harden, who has also been linked with the Toyota Center exit.

Prediction: Westbrook to remain with Rockets (+130)

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, 31-year-old Harden has his heart set on a move to the Brooklyn Nets, where he could team up alongside Kyrie Irving and former Oklahoma City Thunder comrade Kevin Durant:

Should those reports prove true, it would signal Harden at least has some interest in a departure given the scale of the historic deal he’s said to have turned down.

One thing is for definite amid all the uncertainty: The Rockets will not let either of their flagship stars leave easily, or for less than what they feel they’re worth.

Taking into account Harden’s alleged nod towards a trade of his own and the fact both players are signed until 2023, it seems more than likely both will leave at the same time—but it won’t be in 2020.

Westbrook is a +130 favorite to remain in Houston for the beginning of the 2020-21 season, and that seems the most plausible scenario following all the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The saga may be in part addressed over the course of the coming campaign, but this may be one trade where the drama is saved until a later date as franchises get their finances in order.

Russell Westbrook 2021 Team Odds

2021 Team

Odds

Houston Rockets

+130

New York Knicks

+200

Los Angeles Clippers

+325

Charlotte Hornets

+700

Detroit Pistons

+1200

Odds as of November 17.

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