Since the 2020 offseason started, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook and his future with the Houston Rockets. With their failure to win the NBA championship last season, there is ongoing speculation that the former MVP is already on his way out of Houston and has expressed his desire to be traded somewhere else. One of the teams that are currently being linked to “The Brodie” is the Washington Wizards.
In a recent article, Dan Favale of Bleacher Report suggested a blockbuster deal between the Rockets and the Wizards that involves Westbrook and John Wall. In the proposed scenario, the Wizards would send a package that includes Wall, Isaac Bonga, and a 2021 first-round pick to the Rockets in exchange for Westbrook. This could make a lot of sense for the Wizards, especially if they want to become a more competitive team in the 2020-21 season.
Though it would cost them a young player and a future first-round pick, the hypothetical deal would allow the Wizards to give Beal a new All-Star running mate that could immediately make a huge impact on the floor. Trading for Westbrook may not be enough to make the Wizards an instant title contender in the Eastern Conference, but Favale believes that pairing him with Beal would provide them with a ticket back to the playoffs next year.
“Westbrook, for all his flaws, just made an All-NBA team and isn’t working his way back from a career-altering injury. Even if Wall recaptures his form, it most likely won’t happen right away. He may need a year-long buffer. Washington doesn’t have that kind of time. Bradley Beal is a free agent in 2022 (player option) and already the league’s most popular hypothetical trade target. Westbrook sends the message that the Wizards care about now, and he ensures they won’t have to wait for Beal’s co-star to gradually work his way back.”
Though he could once again be forced to play second fiddle in Washington, being traded to the Wizards could also be beneficial for Westbrook. Compared to James Harden, Beal could be a much better backcourt partner for the former MVP. Though he could also run the floor and make plays for his teammates, Beal is capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity, making him a potentially ideal fit with a ball-dominant star like Westbrook.
Meanwhile, the proposed scenario may not help the Rockets in freeing up salary-cap space, but it would give them what they are looking for, which is a young player and a future first-round pick. Bonga could be part of the core of the next title-contending team that the Rockets try to build in Houston, while the first-rounder could enable them to add another talented prospect to their roster.