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Report: James Harden and Chris Paul teaming up against Russell Westbrook in Drew League


OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 21: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives around James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets for two points during the second half of Game Three in the 2017 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals on April 21, 2017 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Oklahoma City defeated Houston 115-113 NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Russell Westbrook; James Harden

J Pat Carter

The Rockets assembled a backcourt with historic talent and basketball intelligence, but one also threatened to become undone by a single question: Will James Harden and Chris Paul, both used to dominating the ball, fit together?

We’ll get a sneak peak tomorrow – against Russell Westbrook.

Marc J. Spears of ESPN:

NBA All-Star guard James Harden and backcourt newcomer Chris Paul are expected to team up Sunday for LA Unified in the Drew League in Los Angeles, a source told The Undefeated. This marks the first time the two will play together since Paul was acquired by the Houston Rockets.

The matchup at the famed Pro-Am is even more intriguing due to the fact that LA Unified plays Home Town Favorites, which is expected to star 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook, a source said.

I’m even more intrigued by Westbrook’s participation than the Houston guards.

Few would play with a projected $207 million extension on the table, but not finalized. Why is Westbrook?

Is he just more willing than most to risk injury while a deal is still pending? Does he believe the Thunder would still pay him even if he suffered a catastrophic injury?

Or, most intriguingly, does this signal Westbrook plans to pass on the extension?

He could make the same amount in free agency next summer. Unlike last year’s renegotiation-and-extension, which put more money in his pocket than any other route, there’s not necessarily a financial advantage this time. The only advantage is guaranteeing the super-max salary now just in case something goes wrong in the next year.

But, by playing in this game, Westbrook is showing what he thinks of security.