"He has left an indelible mark on this team, city and state.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets officially announced their blockbuster trade on Tuesday, which sent triple-double machine Russell Westbrook to H-Town in exchange for nine-time All Star Chris Paul, and multiple future first round picks.
In speaking about the deal, OKC's General Manager Sam Presti had nothing but praise Westbrook, dubbing the eight-time All Star as "the most important player" in the team's history.
“Russell Westbrook is the most important player in the brief history of the OKC Thunder. He has left an indelible mark on this team, city and state.”
“None of us could have anticipated the player he has become, and we are all deeply proud of what he has contributed to the success of the franchise and to our community. “
Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett added:
“I have a great deal of respect for Russell and there is no way to adequately describe our appreciation for what he has meant to Oklahomans. His legacy here is immense, and he will be honored by the team for all he has done.“
The Thunder selected Westbrook fourth overall out of UCLA in the 2008 NBA Draft and he has spent his entire 11-year NBA career with the franchise. The 30-year old veteran averaged a triple-double for the third consecutive season last year, with 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game.
As part of the Westbrook-CP3 deal, OKC acquired two first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 ( both protected Nos. 1-4) and two pick swaps in 2021 and 2025, according to ESPN.