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Thunder should have traded Westbrook instead of Harden?

kei838383
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Thunder should have traded Westbrook instead of Harden?

In retrospect, do you guys think the Thunder should have kept Harden and paid him and instead, traded Westbrook for a several pieces or even one major piece in return?

Did Sam Presti overvalue durability of Westbrook who has yet to miss a game dating back to high school? or is Westbrook really that much better than Harden?

What you guys think?


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You could honestly make an

You could honestly make an argument either way! Both very talented players in their own right.

Cynthia
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*****

Westbrook is a league above Harden. About the only upgrade to Westbrook would be maybe Paul, and that's ONLY considering Paul isn't injured...which he often is.

WolfRob
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Thats my thinking ^ Harden is

Thats my thinking ^

Harden is a top 3 SG though.

Lebron's Hairline
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Chris Paul has only missed

Chris Paul has only missed significant time once(this season) since blowing out his knee so what are you talking about? As talented as Westbrook is like Chris Webber said, he's either the guy that will win you the game or blow it(watch the Golden State game)

FastAndFurious
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Westbrook brings an element

Westbrook brings an element to OKC that no player in the NBA can bring at that PG position.

I would have kept Westbrook as well.

RICO 1981
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you mean besides D. Rose

you mean besides D. Rose right?

Cynthia
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No.

@ Uncle Rico

I'm not getting into who's better between Westbrook & Rose, but all I'll say is one hasn't missed any games, and one has missed a season due to injuries...Falls under the same category as how I said Paul would only be an upgrade if he was injury-free.

Go back to the 80's Uncle Rico.

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So because Rose got hurt, you

So because Rose got hurt, you are saying he isn't on Westbrook's level, or doesn't bring similar talents to the table? Last time I checked, The Bulls won more games in 2011 AND 2012 than the Thunder, and I didn't see the best scorer in the NBA playing on Rose's team. i didn't see Westbrook taking the podium after winning the MVP. I've seen Westbrook the topic of discussion after pretty much every OKC playoff lost in the past 2 years, because he usually finds a way to black hole it so bad in the playoffs that he kills his team's chances. Yes Rose has been injured, and yes an ACL tear is hard to come back from. But IF he does come back at full strength, he was not only on Westbrook's level, he was a better all around player.

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No. Again.

It's like you guys don't even read anything. Let me break it down for you since you're incapable of common sense:

• The original question was should they have traded Westbrook instead of Harden - My answer is no, I personally feel Westbrook is better than Harden, he also means more to the team than Harden did. There's also the fact IF they did trade Westbrook for another PG, Harden would still most likely be behind Sefolosha on the depth chart.

• The reason I originaly said Chris Paul was the only possible upgrade barring injuries would be because the Thunder could benefit from more of a facilitator. However if I'm the Thunder I'd be weary of pulling the trigger on Westbrook for Paul due to Paul's injury history.

• Regarding Rose, I never compared them, I even specifically said I was not going to compare them. I said due to his injury history he falls under the same category of Paul, meaning if I'm the Thunder I'm not going to pull the trigger on Westbrook for Rose due to Rose's injury history vs. Westbrook's non-existent injury history. Whether Rose is better or not does not matter, they're around about the same play style and I see no real benefit for the Thunder in making a trade for Rose.

Ghost01
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No.Periods.In.Subjects.R.Cool.

"I'm not getting into who's better between Westbrook & Rose, but all I'll say is one hasn't missed any games, and one has missed a season due to injuries..."

Number 1: I never said I cared what so ever if you would prefer to have Westbrook or Harden.

Number 2: I am glad you think only CP3 could get traded for him...but probably not, seeing as if they wanted to they probably would have a year ago. But like you have you been saying, Westbrook hasn't been hurt, so clearly, he is incapable of ever getting hurt and trading him for someone whose been hurt like Paul (who had one major injury YEARS ago) would be impossible. But if you are discussing Rose for Westbrook, I'm not sure OKC says yes, but they would think about it a lot longer than the Bulls would.

Number 3: Finally, yes you clearly admitted you didn't want to compare them. But you INFERRED from the "but one hasn't missed any games" part of it that you don't think Rose is "worth" Westbrook. And that is where I disagreed with you, and that is why I replied to you. Yes Rose has been hurt, but when he has been healthy, he has been superior to Westbrook. Would I trade for Rose right now? Of course not. But if I saw him out there, and he stayed healthy through this season and was the same guy he's been? Then, again, this offseason I think OKC would spend a lot more time thinking about it than the Bulls would.

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(No subject)

Ghost01
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Yes. So &$#%#&@! mad. Mostly

Yes. So &$#%#&@! mad. Mostly at how god damn &$#%#&@! original that is. Negative points weeeeeeeee

RICO 1981
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nice pic but i was replying

nice pic but i was replying to this comment,

Westbrook brings an element to OKC that no player in the NBA can bring at that PG position.

I would have kept Westbrook as well.

your comment is wrong too, but i didn't comment on it.

TallmanNYC
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Harden is the better of the

Harden is the better of the two, though they are both very good. Also Harden probably has more room to improve as he is a year younger and has a year less NBA experience. Westbrook can handle a huge scoring load and that is nice. But he only scores at basically league average efficiency (i.e., when Westbrook shoots he is only treading water against the average NBA offense, so it is not that special). Harden takes on almost as high a scoring load, but he scores much more efficiently than league average. And his efficiency is down significantly this season from his prior seasons, so I think we can be fairly confident that he can keep this rate up.

If I was the OKC owner I would have kept all three and just accepted less profit (but gotten more fame and good graces of the fans, and frankly making one more round in the playoffs would give the team enough profit to cover the extra luxury tax of the max contract, heck maybe even one more sold out home game at playoff level ticket prices would cover the luxury tax hit, so just extending a series would be enough). And if I had to pick, I would have kept Harden and found a pass first PG to set up Harden and Durrant.

Hitster
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Westbrook as a PG perhaps

Westbrook as a PG perhaps offered more to the team than Harden who is more a pure scorer and they have an elite level scoring champion in KD already. The package they got from Harden was a good mix and Kevin Martin has given them 15ppg off the bench this year which is what Harden was roughly averaging for them. So from a role point of view Harden has been replaced and if Kevin would be happy to carry on in the 6th man role then maybe the Thunder could extend him next season at around MLE.

Also when we see the Thunder with the pick via Raptors and Rockets at around 7th in the draft then they could easily nab an elite young piece there. A lot of young bigs are in that draft range so they could maybe get a long term replacement for Perkins with that pick if it comes to them. If we start being creative, they have their own first rounder, the high 2nd rounder due from Charlotte so it maybe gives Presti ammo to move even higher up the draft

One fun point is that on Aran's latest mock Bazz is only two places below where the Thunder are in the mock board so that may not be so far fetched as we once thought.

220
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Being in the West, which has

Being in the West, which has a number of good point guards, keeping Russell Westbrook makes sense. Russell Westbrook is the better defensive player and is far more athletically gifted which will be a benefit against the fast and tough point guards in the West.

James Harden is a more polished offensive player who is certainly capable of being the point guard offensively. I feel Harden would struggle if he was forced to guard the other teams point guard all the time just from a quickness and speed factor.

As WolfRob said, "You could honestly make an argument either way! Both very talented players in their own right." I have to agree.

i'm jus so offended
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The only thing I would like

The only thing I would like to know in this argument is what kind of package they could have gotten back in trading Westbrook? If they could have gotten an absolute young stud back on that rookie contract and a probable high pick like they got, I may have a differing opinion.

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You bring up a great point,

You bring up a great point, I'm a huge Westbrook supporter and I think the Thunder made the right move, but I also believe Harden is great player as well, so if they could've gotten a big haul for Westbrook, than that would make me reconsider as well.

But remember, another big loser in the Rudy Gay trade is the Thunder, now that pick goes from mid lotto to late lotto with Rudy Gay there. But imagine if a really touted guy slips to the Thunder at 10 or 11 for whatever reason, that's one of the main reasons they made the trade, they get a young cheap guy(Jeremy Lamb) a potential young stud(Raptors pick) and Kevin Martin who keeps them in contention for a tittle this year. I think the Thunder did pretty well in the James Harden trade.

PurpleMonkeyDis...
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Westbrook

Westbrook was already signed... you don't trade the player that is signed instead of a player that might sign. Westbrook had already signed at a discount and Harden wasn't interested in giving any discount.

IndianaBasketball
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Did you see what Harden got

Did you see what Harden got from Houston? What Harden was asking for from OKC wasn't even close to that. That's a huge discount.

SmooveKRYPT
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Westbrook didn't give them

Westbrook didn't give them any discount. He signed for 5yrs/75 mil. Harden wanted 4yr/60mil. Exact same yearly avg. I personally would've much rather kept Harden's super efficiency from the 6th man role than Russel getting trigger happy on every big stage and turnover + shot selection problems. They could've shipped Russell for John Wall & filler contract and kept the exact same dynamic when it comes to speed, finishing ability, intensity, but from a much better set up guy.

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D. Rose is hurt, so why even

D. Rose is hurt, so why even mention him, and even if D.Rose was available, most people think Westbrook is still the most athletic PG in the game.

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Most athletic =/= better And

Most athletic =/= better

And most people thought Rose was the more athletic of the two before his injury, and even if he wasn't the difference between them is negligible.

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Most athletic =/= better And

Most athletic =/= better

And most people thought Rose was the more athletic of the two before his injury, and even if he wasn't the difference between them is negligible.

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That's tough. You can't go

That's tough. You can't go wrong with either player.

I actually think Harden is a better player and would probably even compliment Durant better, but based on OKC's situation... I think they made the right move for the team. K-Mart isn't the playmaker or all-around player that Harden is, but similar to Harden did last season, he brings a lot of efficiency from a scoring standpoint and he's perfect playing off of the ball beside Durant and Westbrook. The move allowed them to keep Thabo as starter. Idk... I just feel it'd have been a much bigger adjustment moving Westbrook.

TallmanNYC
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Yes, K-Mart is a nice scorer

Yes, K-Mart is a nice scorer and a nice fit. But he is also a free agent at the end of this season. So the Thunder traded the last year of Harden's rookie contract plus five years of Harden's improving and prime years (and he is arguably one of the top ten guys in the league right now, certainly top 15) for a one year rental of K-Mart who they are going to either lose to free agency or have to offer a $40 million four-year contract to at the end of this season. Either K-Mart is gone at the end of this year or he is their sixth man for the next four years. And the guy is already 30. Do you think K-Mart is going to look as good compared to Harden four years from now when K-Mart is 34 and Harden is 28? And K-Mart isn't going to be making that much less than Harden when he signs this summer as an unrestricted free agent. And this contract doesn't look great right now as K-Mart is making $12.5 million and Harden is only costing $6 million (he is still in his rookie contract, the max starts next year and works out to like $15 million a year.)

OKC blew it. They still have a fantastic team and K-Mart is a great fit. But Harden has shown he is a FRANCHISE player. That seems absolutely clear to me. Unless these draft picks or Lamb pans out in a big way, this isn't going to seem like such a great trade two years from now.

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Everyone seems to forget they

Everyone seems to forget they have Torontos 1st round pick which is looking like a top 10 pick unless Gay changes the culture in Toronto. If they can add Alex Len, Isaiah Austin, Mason Plumlee or Kelly Olynyk they could (key word) "potentially" add a dynamic low post precence and or stretch big presence into their offence which is something they have never had. The trade was not about Hardens talent itt was about maintaining a championship calibur roster and position for not only years but decades to come by creating a routine and standard within the organization.

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Harden

Does anbody remember the less than great series Harden had against Miami... not exactly what you are looking for at what he wanted Thunder to pay him. If Westbrook took 1 dollar less than max he gave a discount.

TallmanNYC
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Yes, clearly if your then

Yes, clearly if your then 22-year old SG has trouble scoring in his first NBA Finals playing a team that has great wing defenders, well you should just give him away for a one-year rental of a good shooting guard plus some late lottery picks. You should definitely do this even if the player over the course of the prior two seasons has been one of the most efficient and well rounded scorers in the league. Because you know, three bad games out of a five game series (or whatever it was) means he doesn't have the clutch gene.

Yes the Toronto draft pick should be pretty good (as long as Bargnani comes back soon from injury and they play him). And Jeremy Lamb can probably play in the league (currently he is shooting 32% from the field and has played all of 66 minutes, so I'd say the jury is still out on if can make the transition). But OKC had it. They had the future on lock down with a top player in the league as a restricted free agent. The CBA had been changed so it wasn't even that expensive to sign this guy. Brooklyn signed Gerald Wallace for four years and $40 million. Your telling me that four years of Harden isn't worth $60 million? Maybe there would have been some luxury tax hits. But there would have certainly been many deep runs into the playoffs. And with more stars on their team they could have raised ticket prices another 2 or 3% and made up for the extra luxury tax anyway.

Harden had his first triple double the other night. 21 points on another efficient 6 for 11 FGA. Westbrook is playing really nice this year, but Harden is just better. And OKC didn't have to pick between them. They blew it because they didn't recognize that Harden was a franchise level player.

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I think Westbrook would've

I think Westbrook would've had better trade value.
Anybody remember the Rondo trade rumors?

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Tallman

Who mentioned anything about giving Harden away? That's a large leap your taking, no one mentioned giving away Harden and Oklahoma received a solid package in return from Houston. The fact is it can be telling of a player's makeup how they respond to pressure no matter what level or age they are and Harden fared poorly against Miami.

It's easy for you to pick Harden over Westbrook after the trades been made and games have been played but no one in there right mind would have suggested choosing Harden over Westbrook prior to this season.

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Actually I would have chosen

Actually I would have chosen Harden over Westbrook and so would most people who analyzed Harden's performance on a per possession or per minute basis, instead of a per game basis. Because Harden was getting much less minutes so his per game stats weren't high, he was somewhat undervalued. He also wasn't being asked to carry the same load because he was playing a lot of minutes with a ball dominate player (Westbrook) and a fantastic scorer (Durant) who he rightly deferred to. This really wasn't too hard a call. When he was asked to score, he was fantastic. There is a reason he was selected to the Olympic team last year. So I think a lot of folks realized he was elite before the start of this season.

It is tough to get a good package when you trade a player as elite as Harden. So I guess this is pretty good. But really OKC is just getting one year of K-Mart. Then he is gone or he costs $10 million a year. Lamb is a total cr@p shoot. He might be a good NBA player, he might be a journey man, and he might be out of the league in three years. We don't know. The Toronto pick should be a pretty good one. What is the other first round pick? Is it Houston's? That will be pretty late in the round. And any draft choice after the first three or four is about as likely to be a bust as they are to be an NBA player.

I just think that this summer, when K-Mart takes a nice package from Chicago to be their starting two guard, this trade is going to look awfully bare. If they are in a position where they are trying to justify trading the best SG in the league (Harden is obviously most valuable SG based on the age of Kobe and Wade, even if you might want one of those guys if you just had to win one game or a playoff series next year) based on a second year player and some rookie draft choices, things are going to be looking kind of rough.

As for Harden and pressure, I've got to see more than a few bad games against Wade and Lebron before I start worrying about his head. He's got a lot of pressure in Houston now as the go to scorer every night and he seems to be handling it very well. He will get another chance in the playoffs this year, that seems for certain.

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Westbrook creates more

Westbrook creates more Turnovers than any player in the league outside of CP3 and maybe Mike Conley. Harden is a solid defender but he is not on Westbrook's level of on ball defense. The way Hardens played this year has really given credibility to the argument to keep him but I would still prefer Westbrook due to his explosiveness, intensity and defensive effort.

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Westbrook

Harden is a great player... One of my favorite. I know him on the court and off the court pretty good as well. But the Thunder made the right trade. Westbrook makes OKC tick in a way that Harden wouldnt. Westbrook would average 25+ on that Rockets team as well. But thats not the point. He compliments KD more-so than James wouldve. And his defense and rebounding is definitely a necessity for OKC. James is better at getting to the line and shooting, but those are the exact strengths of Kevin Durant. Kd and Russ are much more different and that is a positive thing for KD.

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Tallman

Spew your numbers jargon all night long... at the end of the day stats are nice but games are won and lost by team chemistry and whether a team has finishers as compared to the competition they are playing against. Look and see what stats has done for the Lakers... nice stat team, lousy record team.

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I don't think anyone has said

I don't think anyone has said that there are any chemistry issues associated with Harden. He is better than Westbrook. Is he closer in his game to Durant? Yes. A 2G will always be closer to an SF than a PG. But there was plenty of room for both Harden and Durant and the main problem is that OKC lost control of Harden. I mean base on what Harden has done this season and considering he is 23 and now locked into a a five year contract, who could you not trade for him straight up? If the Rockets offered Harden for Wade or Kobe there wouldn't be two seconds of consideration by the Heat or the Lakers. And there are many other big time names who don't play SG who folks would trade for Harden. OKC lost a huge asset walk out the door and Jeremy Lamb and K-Mart for one year doesn't make up for it.

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