Breaking: Wizards Trade John Wall, First Round Pick to Houston for Russel Westbrook
In a development that may hit home for many Wizards fans, longtime franchise superstar John Wall will be headed to Houston along with a future first round pick in exchange for Russel Westbrook, per Woj. The news comes after Wall reportedly requested a trade out of Washington earlier this month, despite comments from himself and Wizards general manager Tommy Shepard that indicated otherwise.
John Wall, 30, was drafted out of Kentucky first overall by the Wizards in the 2010 draft. He has spent his first 10 seasons in Washington, averaging 19 points, 9.2 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. Wall led the Wizards to the playoffs four times over his tenure, has made five all-star appearances and has made one All NBA team. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest Wizards of all time. Over the last two seasons, Wall has played a combined 32 games, and missed the entirety of the 2019-2020 season due to injury. With a commanding $38.2 million dollar salary adding to the mutual discontent and injury concerns, the Wizards viewed that it was best for both sides to part ways.
In return, the Wizards will be receiving one of the most recognizable players of the decade in Russel Westbrook. Westbrook was drafted fourth overall out of UCLA by the Oklahoma City Thunder (formerly the Seattle Supersonics). At age 32, Westbrook will be entering his 12th season averaging 23.2 points, 8.3 assists, and 7.1 rebounds per game in his career. Westbrook has the reputation of a high scoring, complete offensive player that demonstrates unmatched work ethic and attitude, and brings years of experience competing with other big-name stars and deep playoff runs. His presence will also help the Wizards point guard need, which will help take the pressure off of Bradley Beal. Westbrook will also reunite with Wizards head coach Scott Brooks, who held the same position in Oklahoma City from 2008-2015.
This move highlights the pivot in strategy from the Wizards organization that has become increasingly evident in recent years. The shift away from John Wall and move to Bradley Beal as the team’s centerpiece is now complete by this move. There is a new backcourt duo in Washington, and whether the move will pay off will remain to be seen.
The Wizards begin preseason play against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, December 13th at 6 pm ET.