NBA News: Thunder deal Russell Westbrook to Houston for Chris Paul

Appearing to be in full rebuild mode, the Thunder traded Russell Westbrook to Houston for Chris Paul and draft picks.

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The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded eight-time All-Star Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

In return, the Thunder will receive point guard Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 and the right to swap first-rounders in 2021 and 2025.

The move reunites Westbrook with another former MVP, James Harden, as the two spent three seasons together in Oklahoma City. Wojnarowski added that Westbrook and his agent worked together with Thunder general manager Sam Presti to get him to Houston.

After trading Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Thunder now appear to be in full rebuild mode.

Since draft night, the Thunder have acquired eight future first round picks, by dealing Westbrook, George and forward Jerami Grant. If they retain their own 2020 pick (top 20 protected to Philadelphia) and 2022 (lottery-protected to Atlanta), the Thunder could have 15 first-round picks and swap rights between 2020 to 2026.

And they don’t seem to be done.

According to Wojnarowski, Oklahoma City could work to find a new team for Paul. In order to trade Paul, who has 3-years, $124 million left on his deal, they might have to dip into their recently acquired draft picks to facilitate a deal.

Westbrook leaves Oklahoma City after 11 seasons, which featured a MVP in 2016-17, while making NBA history as the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1962 to average a triple-double.

The 30-year old guard leaves as the franchise’s all-time leader in points (18,859) and second in assists (6,897), third in rebounds (5,760) and steals (1,442) and fourth in games played (821).