Russell Westbrook shuffles contract around to help Rockets trade

As weird as it is, Russell Westbrook is now a member of the Houston Rockets. Chris Paul is in Oklahoma City with the Thunder, for now, and everyone seems happy.

Both players had massive contracts, with Westbrook owed more than $38 million next season. His contract is a massive 5-year, $207 million deal, and Westbrook has reportedly moved more of his money to future years to make the trade more palatable for Houston.

Via Marc Stein of the New York Times:

To facilitate his recent trade to Houston, Russell Westbrook agreed to amend the pay schedule on his contract to make payouts more team-friendly and less front-loaded, league sources say

— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 8, 2019

The amendments don’t change the overall amounts Westbrook is now owed by the Rockets — starting next season at $38.6 million — but will spare Houston from making massive up-front payments, league sources say

— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 8, 2019

We don’t know how much money was moved around and to which years, but Westbrook is reportedly getting the same amount of money over the course of his contract. He’s not giving up any dollars on paper, although because of the way the time value of money works, you could argue semantics that Westbrook is making some kind of sacrifice here by getting less up front.

All that aside, it’s clear that Westbrook wants to be with James Harden in Houston so that he can try and win an NBA title before his time in the league is done. The Thunder aren’t going anywhere for a little while, and the massive haul of picks they received in exchange for Paul George will put them into contention sometime in the future.

Right now, it makes sense for Westbrook to be in Houston and apparently that means restructuring some items in his contract.

Read the original article at