NBA Rumors: Rockets Trading Russell Westbrook To Wizards For John Wall And 2023 1st-Round Pick
After weeks of speculation, the Houston Rockets have finally parted ways with All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook. In a Twitter post, Shams Charania of The Athletic revealed that the Rockets have agreed to send Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a 2023 first-round pick. The news no longer surprised most NBA fans since the Wizards have been heavily linked to “The Brodie” since he expressed his desire to leave Houston and start a new journey somewhere else.
With their goal to maximize the championship window of Bradley Beal, trading Wall for Westbrook arguably makes sense. Unlike Wall, who is coming off an Achilles injury that put him on the sidelines for the entire 2019-20 season, Westbrook could immediately make an impact for the Wizards when the league starts on December 22. He may have gone through plenty of ups and downs in his first year in Houston, but he could still be an incredible addition to Washington’s roster.
He could give them a very reliable second scoring option next to Beal, and could also be an incredible rebounder and playmaker, and a decent perimeter defender. Last season, the 32-year-old point guard averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 47.2 percent from the field, per ESPN.
Unlike in Houston, where he shared the court with another ball-dominant star in Harden, Westbrook isn’t expected to have a hard time fitting in with Beal in the Wizards’ backcourt. Beal is among the few superstars in the league who can excel on the court with or without the ball in his hands, making him the perfect backcourt partner for the former MVP.
Meanwhile, the deal could also be beneficial for the Rockets. Though it wouldn’t help them clear salary-cap space, it would allow them to acquire a future first-round pick in return. They could use it to add a promising talent to their roster if they decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild. If they want to remain competitive and run it back with Harden next season, they could include the future first-rounder in the package to acquire an established veteran.
It remains unclear whether or not Wall could still regain his All-Star form. However, if he is in 100 percent health and is able to return to his old self, he could be an intriguing fit with Harden. Wall may also be a ball-dominant guard but compared to Westbrook, he’s a much better three-point shooter.