Though they play the same position, acquiring Westbrook wouldn't necessarily lead to Houston sending Chris Paul to the Thunder, MacMahon's source said. Moving Paul could, however, make a swap much easier to pull off, as the two are earning identical $38.5-million salaries next season, though Westbrook's contract is guaranteed for a year longer.
After the Los Angeles Clippers shocked the NBA by reportedly acquiring Paul George from the Thunder while also signing Kawhi Leonard, Oklahoma City and Westbrook have reportedly been discussing parting ways via trade, potentially this summer.
Westbrook, who has been with the franchise since being drafted fourth overall in 2008, is set to earn approximately $124 million over the next three seasons - not including a $47-million player option in 2022-23. The Thunder, however, now look geared to rebuild after acquiring a handful of first-round picks from the Clippers for George.
Houston could also be eyeing more than just Westbrook. The Rockets are interested in signing free agent Tyson Chandler as a backup center, a source told MacMahon.
The team likely won't be alone in its pursuit of Westbrook. The Detroit Pistons and Miami Heat are also "very real possibilities" as trade destinations for the 30-year-old, sources told The Athletic's Sam Amick and Brett Dawson.