Russell Westbrook Says He and James Harden Will ‘Play Great Off the Ball’

Russell Westbrook is confident that he and fellow superstar teammate James Harden will happily co-exist in Houston next season.

Westbrook says the two dominant offensive machines are “great” at playing off the ball with one another.

Russ adds that he’ll bring a lot more to the table for the Rockets than just scoring and handling the rock.

Per The Athletic:

At the start of the offseason, Harden communicated to the front office that he liked the idea of playing with Westbrook, league sources told The Athletic.

“I think we play great off the ball with each other,” Westbrook told The Athletic.

“We’ve done it in Oklahoma City. Many times in Oklahoma City, James, he closed the game as the primary ball-handler, and I played off the ball. It’s totally fine for me because, like I have said before, offensively and scoring and having the ball in my hands is not the only thing I can do for the game. I do a lot of great things for the game and I look forward to doing that with this team as well.”

Team sources have expressed confidence in that Westbrook and Harden will both implement more off-ball movement into their games, particularly in a half-court setting, and were pleased with Westbrook’s comments during his introductory press conference.

Related James Harden: ‘I Know How to Play With Russ and He Knows How to Play With Me’

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Fantasy Basketball: Top 150 for 2019

We halfway home. Woo hoo! Take me home, country roads. To the Old Town Road? You want to hear how washed I am? I didn’t know about that song until the young 20-something-girl who takes care of a kid at my son’s school told me about it. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Eric Gordon and the Rockets have agreed to a 4-year, $76M maximum contract extension.

Eric Gordon and the Houston Rockets have agreed to a four-year, $76M maximum contract extension.

He will get 3-years, $54.5M guaranteed on his extension, per source, starting with the 2020-2021 season – $16.9M, $18.2M, and $19.6M. 

The 4th season is non-guaranteed and that would earn him $20.9M.

This makes Rockets’ 2020-21 season payroll a hefty one at $116.2M total! In the 2020-21 season, the Rockets will owe Russell Westbrook $41M, James Harden $40.8M, Clint Capel $17.5M, and now Eric Gordon $16.9M.

Eric Gordon, Rockets Agree To Four-Year Extension

Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets have agreed to a four-year contract extension with veteran guard Eric Gordon, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. The 30-year-old’s current contract will expire at the end of 2019-20.

Gordon will earn $75.6 million through 2023-24, putting him position to potentially retire with the franchise. Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic reports that that’s been a goal of his.

Gordon averaged 16.2 points per game for the Rockets last season and has long been considered one of the NBA’s most prolific scoring options off the bench.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Gordon’s deal will start at $16.9 million in 2020-21 and escalate up to a non-guaranteed fourh year worth $20.9 million.

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A look at what eight former Hoosiers will earn in the NBA next season

With the contract situations for Yogi Ferrell and Noah Vonleh now settled, eight former IU players have guaranteed contracts in the NBA for the 2019-20 season. Only one Hoosier who appeared in the league last season – Troy Williams – …

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PJ Tucker: Houston Rockets Drama ‘Fake News’

According to PJ Tucker, reports of discontent in Houston are merely “fake news.”

Tucker insists that co-stars James Harden and Chris Paul remain on the same page, and that everyone is focused on winning an elusive NBA championship.

The Rockets’ front-office, meanwhile, is reportedly shopping what seems like everyone on the roster but Harden with free agency looming.

Per The Athletic:

As a leader in the locker room, tell me about James and Chris. You can’t speak for them, but…

Tucker: “No, but I’m sick of the fake news man. It’s fake. Everybody – I argue with Chris and James more than Chris and James argue.”

Fine, but Game 6 (against the Warriors): How hot was it (afterward)?

Tucker: “It was what it was. Everybody’s mad. Everybody’s pissed. You can’t – I’m sick of all the highlight of whoever this person is trying to come up with all this crap, like I argue with Chris and James more than Chris and James argue with each other. Like, I’m the center, focal (point) of the argument because I’m always yelling at somebody and they’re yelling at me. So for me, it’s like ‘If you’re not arguing…’ You don’t think Kobe (Bryant) and Shaq (O’Neal) argued? Hakeem (Olajuwon) and…”

But that’s a tough comparison though, right? There’s a threshold there. Kobe and Shaq reached a point where it wouldn’t work anymore.

Tucker: “Nah, but guess what? They won championships together. Right? And that’s what people care about, right? That’s what we talking about, right? Nah, but we’re talking about winning championships, right? So that’s all that matters. To win a championship. That’s it. Nothing else matters. If we win a championship together and we fucking hate each other, then guess what? Who cares? (Laughs) Nobody. Right, so that’s all that matters. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Winning a championship. Everything else is failure.

Related Chris Paul: ‘I Never Demanded a Trade’

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