Report: Russell Westbrook’s preferred destination was Houston, not Miami despite previous reports'
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In a surprising turn of events, Russell Westbrook has been traded to the Houston Rockets despite rumors of the former MVP inevitably going to the Miami Heat.

Contrary to previous reports that Westbrook’s preferred destination was Miami, it appears that the Rockets were his first choice all along.

The interest in going to Houston is most likely due to Westbrook’s familiarity with his former Thunder teammate James Harden.

The Heat were one of a handful of teams that was said to be interested in trading for Westbrook despite the hefty price tag involved in acquiring the eight-time All-Star. He signed a five-year, $206.8 million contract with the Thunder last year, but he still has roughly $171 million owed to him until the 2022-23 season.

Landing Westbrook would have given the Heat the All-Star player that they coveted to pair with Jimmy Butler. One has to wonder, however, if the Heat’s reported stance against including Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro in a trade for Westbrook was a deal-breaker for the Thunder.

Ultimately, Westbrook was sent to the Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul, a couple of first-round picks (2024 and 2026), as well as pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.

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Omar is a freelance writer who has followed the NBA for more than 30 years. Prior to the Internet, he devoured every reading material he could find on the game from newspaper articles to books and magazines. He became a Heat fan the moment they acquired Tim Hardaway and his killer crossover, and lamented not seeing him and Alonzo Mourning win a championship. Seeing Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh play in Miami was a surreal moment for him and more so after they validated the Decision with back-to-back championships. He is ecstatic to cover Miami basketball for Heat Nation.