Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta sees Westbrook as a better fit in terms of style of play and personal relationships between the franchise's stars.
"We used to be one of the top transition teams (in the league), and we’ve slowed down the last few years," Fertitta told The Athletic's Sam Amick.
"And James and Russ go back a long ways in California, so they can talk to each other like brothers, you know, instead of one (player) thinking that he’s the mentor. I just think it’s going to go well. They both want to win. They both have four years left on their contracts, and they’re both 30 years old and they know this is it."
However, Fertitta maintained that Paul's personal relationship with Harden had nothing to do with the blockbuster move and that he leans on his basketball personnel for significant decisions.
The Rockets have relied heavily on analytics since general manager Daryl Morey arrived in 2007. The team ranked third in pace during 2016-17 before Paul was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers, but dropped to 13th in 2017-18 and then 27th last season.
"We just feel like the way that we want to play that (Westbrook) is just a little bit better fit," Fertitta added.