The Rockets and Wizards Swap John Wall and Russell Westbrook

Wizards Receive: Russell Westbrook

Over the past few years, it became evident that the duo of Bradley Beal and John Wall were simply not enough for the Wizards to even consistently get to the playoffs. And when Beal actually began to develop, Wall underwent repeated injuries which prevented him from stepping on an NBA court since late 2018. The experiment was simply not working.

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With the addition of Westbrook, the Wizards definitely get better, but the advantage is extremely minor unless it turns out that Wall’s injury is career-altering, which it definitely may be. However, I still don’t see the potential for the Wizards to make noise in the Eastern conference, and I think that if Westbrook does not significantly improve the team’s performance, it would be a wise idea to trade him at the trade deadline for a boatload of picks. With picks, they could add young talent around Beal, helping the team succeed in the long-run instead of trying to win now with an aging Westbrook.

 

Rockets Receive: John Wall, 2021 FRP

The Russell Westbrook experiment was a failure, and with a player entering an offense made for a point guard like Chris Paul, it was not an unexpected outcome. However, now with John Wall, I definitely think the Rockets are back to being contenders if he is back to his post-injury self. 

Houston took a huge risk trading for Wall as he relied heavily on his athleticism and explosiveness, which can take a hit with an injury as severe as an Achilles rupture. If Wall can play as he did from 2016 to 2018 just before he got injured, I think the Rockets can almost replicate their performance with Chris Paul. This is due to the fact that both Wall and Paul are extremely good passers and they could also put up 30 points or more on any given night. Also, Wall’s three-point shot was definitely improving before his injuries, which is promising. 

Overall, I think though Houston made a very risky trade, they should be glad that they have incentivized James Harden to remain on the team for longer. It was reported that Harden was pushing for Wall to join because he realized that the Rockets likely weren’t going to go anywhere as long as Westbrook stayed on the team. If John Wall can play as he did before, the Rockets are massive winners, as they also have the first-round pick at their disposal. 

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