Washington Wizards point guard John Wall has been the subject of various trade rumors during the 2019 NBA offseason. The speculation may have somewhat died down when the 2019-20 NBA season officially started, but with mere hours remaining before Thursday’s trade deadline hits, his name is surfacing once again in the rumor mill.
In a recent article, The Ringer staff had a discussion regarding the two trades that every team could make before the deadline. In the theoretical deal involving Wall, the outlet suggested that the Wizards could include him in the package together with multiple first-round picks to acquire Russell Westbrook from the Houston Rockets.
“Let’s get wild! Gilbert Arenas’s contract for Rashard Lewis’s contract, part two. Houston likely won’t win the title with Westbrook, and he’s the only reasonable candidate in the whole league to swap for Wall, so let’s imagine that [Rockets general manager] Daryl Morey agrees to this framework to recoup some of the picks he lost when trading for Westbrook last summer. Will this happen? Of course not—both teams would probably say no. But with any Bradley Beal deal off the table, the Wizards don’t have any other ‘major’ moves available.”
As much as Washington fans love Wall, it would definitely be an intriguing idea to explore trading him for an MVP-caliber player like Westbrook. Though they would have to sacrifice multiple first-round picks in the potential deal, trading for the Rockets superstar somewhat makes sense for the Wizards, especially if they want to become competitive again in the Eastern Conference. Westbrook might be two years older but he is arguably a much better player than Wall and has been in better health in recent years.
Crazy things really happen in the NBA, but it’s hard to imagine the Rockets agreeing to move Westbrook for Wall before the trade deadline. Though it would enable them to refill the war chest of first-round selections that they almost emptied in the blockbuster transaction with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Rockets are highly unlikely to swap their starting point guard for an injured superstar like Wall.
Instead of immediately giving up on their Westbrook-James Harden backcourt experiment, the Rockets are currently finding ways to further improve their current roster. After successfully acquiring Robert Covington from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a four-team, 12-player blockbuster deal, rumors are circulating that Houston is still active on the trade market, searching for a starting-caliber center who could replace Clint Capela on their roster.