Run it back as James Harden and Russell Westbrook are teammates once again following the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder agreeing to a blockbuster trade involving their superstar guards.
The Rockets acquired Westbrook while the Thunder received Chris Paul and a slew of future-first round picks including a 2024 first-round protected pick, a 2026 (1-4) and two pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.
Westbrook gets his wish of wanting out of Oklahoma in hopes to make a run to the finals with James Harden, his former teammate while the two were last together in Oklahoma City during the 2011-'12 season.
Westbrook was the last remaining superstar of the Harden and Kevin Durant trio that led the Thunder to the NBA Finals. Over the last two seasons, Westbrook is averaging a triple-double, while Harden's 36.1 points a game gives Houston a lethal backcourt boasting not only two of the NBA's premier scoring threats but also two former MVP's.
As for the Thunder, the rebuild is underway as Oklahoma City has acquired 15 draft picks from 2020 to 2026 in trades involving Paul George and Russell Westbrook.
George netted Oklahoma City five first-round draft picks and Westbrook another five.
As for Chris Paul, his window to win a ring is closed as the 34-year-old aging superstar is set to earn $38 million this season and $44 million next season.
While the Thunder reminisce about what could have been with Westbrook, Harden, and Durant on the floor together, Oklahoma City must face the harsh reality of trading away two-former MVPs and one bolting for a different team.
With 15 draft picks over the next six seasons, general manager Sam Presti now has the freedom to make any moves he wants-whether it be trading multiple picks for a superstar or trying to re-create a more successful version of the Westbrook, Harden and Durant trio.
Presti now has the same power Danny Ainge has in Boston-a general manger's dream.