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James Harden Reportedly a 'Driving Force' in Rockets Acquiring Russell Westbrook

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 14: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference and James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets and the Western Conference warm up before the NBA All-Star Game 2016 at the Air Canada Centre on February 14, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)
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We knew Russ wanted to rejoin Harden. Now, it seems the feeling was mutual.

The NBA offseason has provided its fans with endless drama and entertainment. The latest storyline basketball fans followed was the developing list of potential trade destinations for Russell Westbrook, who was seeking a trade off the Oklahoma City Thunder following the Kawhi/PG-13 melee of last weekend.

The proverbial book closed on Thursday, as the Houston Rockets acquired Westbrook in exchange for Chris Paul, future first-round picks, and two draft pick swaps. So what caused the Rockets to pull the trigger?

According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, Rockets star James Harden was a "driving force" in the team trading for his former Thunder teammate. The Rockets front office agreed, believing they had a higher ceiling with Westbrook, as opposed to Chris Paul.

The feeling was mutual with Westbrook, as NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the eight-time All-Star's preferred destination was Houston, and Thunder general manager Sam Presti facilitated the deal.

Houston has had a rough go of things in the playoffs in recent years. In fact, they failed to eliminate the Golden State Warriors in the past two years.

It will remain to be seen if Westbrook reuniting with Harden will change their luck. This offseason, the Western Conference saw an emergence of power duos, from LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Los Angeles Lakers, to Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the LA Clippers.

Both Russell Westbrook and James Harden have shown during their solo runs that the ball runs primarily through them. It will remain to be seen how the two will distribute the ball now that they're teammates on the Houston Rockets.

But they asked for this.