Opinion: Russell Westbrook-James Harden pairing probably won't work, but Rockets had no other choice but to try

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SportsPulse: Houston couldn’t stay idle and watch everyone else improve. USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt breaks down the blockbuster trade that sends Russell Westbrook to the Rockets where he will reunite with former teammate James Harden.
USA TODAY

It says something about the state of professional basketball when two All-NBA point guards get traded for each other and it only registers fourth among the balance-of-power shifting transactions that have taken place in the last month alone.

Mostly, it says that the NBA has changed from a league where you need three superstars to win a title to a league dominated by power couples. And it says that the Houston Rockets, who a few weeks ago seemed to be contractually handcuffed to a point guard in decline alongside James Harden, were desperate to find a way out.

The Rockets sent a boatload of future draft assets to Oklahoma City on Thursday to swap the bad contract of Chris Paul for the less-bad contract of Russell Westbrook, throwing a different look at a Western Conference that seems to be wide open.

From a basketball standpoint, pairing a ball-dominant guard in Harden with a ball-dominant guard in Westbrook doesn’t make…

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