Since the 2020 offseason started, rumors have been continuously swirling around All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook and his future with the Houston Rockets. There is speculation that Westbrook already wants out of Houston after the organization failed to achieve its main goals last season and is hoping to start a new journey somewhere else. One of the teams that are rumored to be interested in trading for the former MVP is the Washington Wizards.
In a recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Bills Simmons of The Ringer and Jackie MacMullan of ESPN discussed several interesting topics, including the rumors linking Westbrook to the Wizards. Though Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard recently denied that they are planning to trade John Wall this offseason, Simmons believes the team has a real interest in acquiring Westbrook, adding the Bradley Beal was “driving” the blockbuster deal that could send “The Brodie” to Washington.
“I thought Westbrook was going to Washington,” Simmons said, as quoted by HoopsHype. “And I had heard that Bradley Beal was driving the Westbrook thing and that they were actually going to include a pick potentially and it wasn’t just a one-for-one that they were actually putting in more.”
Despite the team’s plan to “run it back” with Beal and Wall in the 2020-21 NBA season, it wouldn’t really be surprising if Beal asks the Wizards to trade for Westbrook. Wall may be close to returning to 100 percent health, but it remains a big question mark if or when he could regain his All-Star form. Unlike Wall, Westbrook could immediately make an impact for the Wizards when the league starts play on December 22.
He could immediately fill the void that Wall would be leaving at the point guard position, giving them a very reliable scoring option, playmaker, rebounder, and perimeter defender. Last season, the 32-year-old floor general posted incredible numbers, averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, seven assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 47.2 percent from the field, per ESPN.
Westbrook would likely be more comfortable sharing the backcourt with Beal than his Rockets running mate James Harden. Though he could also run the offense and make plays for his teammates, Beal is also capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity, making him an ideal backcourt partner for a ball-dominant superstar like Westbrook.
To acquire the former scoring and assists champion, the Wizards are definitely aware that it would take more than Wall to convince the Rockets to engage in a blockbuster deal. In any proposed deal that would pair Beal with the former MVP, Washington should ideally give up a package that includes a young player and/or a future first-round pick.