NBA Rumors: Wizards Could Try To Trade Russell Westbrook Before 2021 Deadline, ‘Bleacher Report’ Predicts

Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards has a conversation with referee Mitchell Ervin.
Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

Although it hasn’t been long since the Houston Rockets traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for John Wall, a recent article suggested that it might not be long before his new team moves him elsewhere, potentially marking his third move in just two seasons.

As explained on Wednesday in a list of pre-trade deadline predictions, Bleacher Report wrote that Westbrook hasn’t had a very good start with the Wizards. Although his numbers were lower at the time the article was published, the former MVP is currently averaging 19 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 12.7 assists over three games, but, as further noted on his Basketball-Reference page, he is shooting just 41.4 percent from the field and has converted on only one out of 10 three-point attempts. Furthermore, Washington has lost its first four games despite its status as a potential playoff contender in the 2020-21 campaign.

“In reality, the Wizards’ trade for Westbrook had more to do with getting out from under John Wall’s contract than it did actually wanting the 32-year-old to come to Washington,” the publication added.

Russell Westbrook of the Washington Wizards is defended by Detroit Pistons big men Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee.
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With the Wizards struggling early and Westbrook lacking efficiency on the offensive end, Bleacher Report speculated that the organization might “listen to any offers they receive” for the nine-time All-Star. At the moment, shooting guard Bradley Beal remains the centerpiece of the Wizards’ roster, thus putting pressure on the team to surround him with a better supporting cast before he becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2022.

Despite Westbrook’s status as an established superstar, the outlet stressed that he will still have two years and $91.3 million remaining on his contract after the 2020-21 season. That, as noted, might make it hard for Washington to get a lot of value in return for the point guard if he gets moved prior to the deadline.

Prior to his trade to the Wizards and last season’s move to the Rockets, Westbrook spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. During his time with that organization, he notably had three consecutive seasons where he averaged a triple-double in points, rebounds, and assists, starting with his 2016-17 MVP campaign.

Although trading Westbrook could be one of the things the Wizards do to shake things up if they continue struggling, there have been various trade ideas recommending other potential midseason acquisitions. These include a hypothetical deal that would allow Washington to acquire center Andre Drummond from the Cleveland Cavaliers for a package featuring big men Thomas Bryant and Robin Lopez, veteran point guard Ish Smith, and a future second-round selection.