Washington agreed to ship the lottery-protected first-round pick from the 2023 NBA draft to Houston as well.
This is a logical transaction for both franchises. The Rockets’ plans of having Westbrook and James Harden together in the lineup didn’t bring any results, and on top of everything, Mike D’Antoni isn’t coming back. Westbrook indicated earlier that he wishes to leave Houston, and the organization has granted his wish.
On the other side, Wall’s situation is different. He didn’t play since December 2018, due to various injuries. The sources suggest that the explosive point guard feels ready to start the upcoming campaign, but even so, the Wizards decided that it is best to turn the attention towards Bradley Beal.
Westbrook’s arrival to the Wizards would put them in contention for the playoffs and provide an additional dose of media hype around the team. During his previous year in Houston, Westbrook had 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7 assists per match and is set to earn $133 million over the next three years. So far, there hasn’t been any official information on Wizards’ plans regarding the former MVP, as some rumors suggest that they might use him in some other trade.
As for Wall, he too has three more years on his contract, and during that time, the former No.1 pick from the 2010 draft will earn one million fewer than Westbrook.
Someone close to Russell Westbrook told me DC was his preferred destination. Russ was intrigued about playing with Bradley Beal & excited to reunite with Scott Brooks. I can't remember a guy coming off an All-NBA season who preferred to play for the Wizards, so there's that…
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) December 3, 2020
The Rockets’ fans are hoping that he will be better than Westbrook, who was always asking for the team to revolve around him. Meanwhile, Wall was already playing alongside an elite scorer, and knows how and when to share the ball. That wasn’t the case with Westbrook, and we could see some pretty unusual situations in clutch moments during this past campaign.
James Harden also expressed his wish to change the environment after the conclusion of the previous season. Back then, the news shook the entire league, but it seems that hype disappeared now, and that the Beard changed his mind. Adding Wall next to him shows the Rockets’ intention to give him high-class players who will make the team competitive. It also signals that they won’t break their promise to Harden about helping him win the title.