Russell Westbrook trade arguably greatest gift he ever gave OKC Thunder

OKC Thunder: Chris Paul #3 and Russell Westbrook #0 attend a game (Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Chris Paul #3 and Russell Westbrook #0 attend a game (Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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JANUARY 20: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets checks the scoreboard during the fourth quarter against the OKC Thunder (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Again, this isn’t meant to shade Westbrook as his presence on the Rockets has pulled them out of the basement pace per game to lead the league and if he can continue to hit either mid-range shots or improve upon his perimeter shot he’ll be a vital alternative for the Rockets in the postseason.

But, for the current iteration of the OKC Thunder, there is a solid argument why Chris Paul isn’t just fitting in but is quite possibly the best option of veteran talent to fulfill the position and role he is thriving in.

After a few seasons of pulling out my hair over Dennis Schroder not using his full potential to pass the ball when shooters are open or forcing shots, he’s abandoned those bad habits for the most part.

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Although the team (or Schroder) hasn’t specifically come out and said this is a direct correlation to the effect of Paul the ties are obvious.

The clutch metrics speak for themselves as Chris Paul leads most clutch categories and has repeatedly demonstrated his ability to feast in that very crucial situation. He leads all clutch time performers with 103 points at a gawdy efficiency rate of 55 percent. The nearest competitor is Zach LaVine of the Bulls with 83 points at 33 percent efficiency (and check the standings for who is making a bigger difference in the win column!).

In fact, several of the OKC Thunder players show up in clutch stats given how often they are in clutch time scenarios and more importantly the numerous victories in those situations.

Russell Westbrook Top 10 list from historic triple-double season. dark. Next

Ultimately, for all the gifts Russell Westbrook gave the OKC Thunder the value of what the franchise received in his trade may end up being the most important and have the longest-lasting value well into the team’s future.