James Harden and Russell Westbrook have drenched Houston in nostalgia.
After ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier Thursday evening that the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to trade Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul, first-round picks in the 2024 and 2026 drafts as well as pick swaps for 2021 and 2025, ESPN's Brian Windhorst explained that Westbrook and Harden have wanted to reunite.
"From what I understand, the night that the [Paul George] trade went down, that [Westbrook and Harden] got on the phone together and started working on it," Windhorst said on a new episode of The Hoop Collective Podcast Thursday night (h/t NBA on ESPN).
Wojnarowski had earlier tweeted something along the same lines, noting that Westbrook's preferred trade outcome was a reunion with Harden in Houston.
George had requested to be traded from the Thunder to the Los Angeles Clippers, which was executed over the weekend to team George up with Kawhi Leonard. Following George's sudden exit, Wojnarowski reported Saturday that Westbrook was engaged with Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti about the "possibility of a trade" before the 2019-2020 season.
Less than a week later, the eight-time All-Star is set to leave the only franchise he's ever known and become a Rocket—just as Harden did in 2012.
Harden and Westbrook played together alongside Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City from 2009-2012 until Harden moved to the Rockets.
The trio made it to the 2012 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat in five games.