With little over a month to go before the return of the NBA all hell has broken lose as the league is on the verge of a historical shift.

The first domino to fall is Russell Westbrook demanding a trade from Houston which took the NBA world by surprise. 

With the signing of new coach Stephen Silas the Rockets remain in flux as they look to pick up the pieces of the small-ball experiment that landed them an early exit from the bubble after a 5-game series against the Lakers.

With the Chris Paul – Russel Westbrook trade being the final straw for Houston’s championship window, Oklahoma City looks to capitalize on the one-year rental and build for the future.

The feel-good story of the year for the league had to be Chris Paul leading Oklahoma City to the playoffs despite only having a 2% chance to do so. The point GOD (yes I spelled it correctly) showed leadership while mentoring younger players such as Shai-Gilgerous Alexander and Dennis Schroder.  

He also showed his ability to play off ball with A 42% clip from deep in catch-and-shoot situations, and clutch play that helped push a talented Rockets team to 7-games in last year playoffs. 

However, Oklahoma City is closer to the lottery than they are contending. So moving Chris Paul for younger pieces ( Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio) and draft capital (2022 first round pick) shows a major shift in the league as the Thunder look to rebuild and the Suns look to compete for a playoff spot in the West and build around their up and coming superstar Devin Booker. 

The Thunder's off season doesn't end there though, as they look to finalize a deal to send Dennis Schroder to the Lakers for Danny Green and the 28th pick in this year’s draft. 

This expedites the process of the repeat as the Lakers still wait for Anthony Davis (who's likely to resign) Kentavious Caldwell- Pope, and Dwight Howard make their decisions with free agency starting on Nov. 20th.

With the Lakers being champions there are major holes in the roster that Schroder will be filling. Assuming that Rondo will opt to sign elsewhere, Schroder will be primarily used to lead the second unit.

Providing a reliable third scoring option and a secondary ball handler to alleviate offensive responsibilities of Lebron James. Schroder adds another shooter to a roster who desperately needs spacing for Anthony Davis and Lebron to thrive. While shooting 38% from deep Schroder also is effective in catch and shoot situations while shooting 41% from deep in those situations.

Lastly and certainly not the least the biggest domino of them all.

Houston has another problem. James Harden wants out.

The former MVP, three-time scoring champion, assist leader, and arguably the best 1v1 scorer ever is going to be impossible to replace but Houston will look to add as much value as possible.

With a short list of possible destinations, the league can be shaken up with a variety of different scenarios. Do the Rockets swap with the 76ers for All-Star Ben Simmons and see if they can use the Milwaukee blueprint? Or does Brooklyn risk it all in a trade to form a trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving?

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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