- The Houston Rockets have traded superstar point guard Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards.
- In exchange, the Rockets will receive five-time NBA All-Star John Wall and a first-round draft pick.
- Washington’s and Houston’s GMs agreed to a deal in mere hours Wednesday after weeks of stagnation, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
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Russell Westbrook is headed to DC.
The Houston Rockets have traded the 2017 NBA MVP to the Washington Wizards in exchange for five-time All-Star John Wall and a first-round draft pick. The move marks one of the biggest blockbuster trades of the league’s shortened offseason and sends two superstars to new cities mere weeks before the 2020-2021 season tips off.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the trade, wrote on Twitter that Washington general manager Tommy Sheppard and Houston GM Rafael Stone came to the agreement in mere hours Wednesday afternoon after discussions on the deal had stagnated weeks ago.
The Wizards will receive one of the league’s most prolific stars in Westbrook. The 6-foot-3 point guard boasts an impressive resume that includes nine All-Star nods, two seasons as NBA scoring champion, and another two years as the league’s assists leader.
Westbrook teamed up with 2018 NBA MVP and back-to-back scoring champion James Harden upon joining the Rockets’ roster in 2019, but both of the stars have expressed concerns with the franchise since the conclusion of the 2019-2020 campaign.
During his lone season in Houston, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points per game on a career-best 47.2% shooting from the floor and added 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists per contest to boot. Though Russ’ shot selection and meager 25.8% clip from beyond the arc drew criticism from NBA fans throughout the 2019-2020 season, Washington has undoubtedly acquired a dynamic ballhandler and facilitator in its new star.
Wall, meanwhile, has missed more than two years of playing time due to injury. He initially hurt his left heel in December of 2018 and, after undergoing surgery, was expected to return the following season. But the former No. 1 overall draft pick developed an infection after the procedure and subsequently slipped and fell in his home, rupturing his Achilles tendon and keeping him off the court for an additional 12 months.
But before his extended hiatus, Wall was regarded as one of the best point guards in the entire NBA. He averaged 20.7 points and 8.7 assists per game for the Wizards before sustaining his devastating injury. And if Wall remotely resembles his former self during his comeback season, the Rockets will be home to one of the fastest floor generals in the league.
The 2020-2021 NBA campaign tips off December 22, but neither Houston nor Washington plays during the league’s first three days of the new season. Fans can get a first look at Wall with the Rockets during their preseason game against the Chicago Bulls December 11, while Westbrook and the Wizards will face the new-look Brooklyn Nets for a scrimmage December 13.
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