Who won the Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade: Wizards or Rockets?
One the quickest offseasons in NBA history took a strange turn as a blockbuster trade between the Houston Rockets and the Washington Wizards look to round out this year’s crazy free agency drama.
Both teams have decided to part ways with their superstar point guards and trade them for one another. John Wall is on his way to H-Town to join forces with James Harden, while Russell Westbrook is packing his bags and heading towards DC to form a dynamic duo with Bradley Beal. This is the perfect trade to perfectly encapsulate how 2020 has turned out for everyone.
Now, after the shocking development, a lot of fans are asking and has practically been divided on who won the trade.
From a team perspective, it’s neither to be completely honest.
Both players are ball-heavy and dynamic and could easily turn the franchise for the better; hence, a lot of people are saying that it’s a like-for-like exchange. However, both players also have had their own individual struggles, which hasn’t quite worked well for either of their teams in the past. It’s also important to note that they have massive contracts until 2023, which both Houston and Washington are adopting.
Westbrook, being a former MVP and actually being able to suit and play for the past few years, gives him the advantage over Wall, who’s hasn’t been able to play competitive NBA basketball since December of 2018. That said, we can probably give this one to the Wizards, for now at least. Slightly.
Westbrook and Beal will be spearheading things in Washington, which Wizards fans can genuinely be excited about. Though his lone season with Harden in Houston didn’t work out quite well, he still managed to put up incredible numbers. Russ’ assists and rebounding numbers went down a bit last season, but his scoring average went up to 27.2 points per game–which was the most since his MVP season in 2016-2017.
Westbrook has also shown that he’s (at the very least) capable of playing with different kinds of superstars in his time around the league. He has played with two former MVPs now in Kevin Durant and James Harden, and he has also played side-by-side with an All-Star like Paul George. Considering this, pairing him up with Beal won’t be completely foreign of an idea, at least for Westbrook. Whether Beal will be happy with Westbrook sharing backcourt duties on the Wizards is another problem.
Wall, on the other hand, poses a a lot more questions as he enters Clutch City. The 30-year-old has been recovering from an Achilles injury from almost 24 months ago, and we all know how unpredictable this particular situation can be.
What makes thing a bit more complex for Houston is the fact that Wall isn’t the first superstar point guard they’ve paired with Harden over the past few seasons. A Chris Paul experiment from 2017 to 2019 didn’t quite work out, and everyone saw how that trial run with Westbrook ended up.
Harden, being the former MVP that he is, demands the ball a lot and that might need a ton of adjusting from Wall, who hasn’t been in this situation ever in his decade-long career in the league. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how rookie head coach Stephen Silas calls the shots with his new backcourt duo.
If there’s one glimmer of hope in this new-look Rockets team, it’s Wall joining forces with former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins, who seems quite happy that his good friend will be joining him in Houston.
From a player’s perspective, it seems as though both Russell Westbrook and John Wall got what they wanted. Wall and Westbrook have declared their desire to play for a new team this offseason. As it stands, they’re definitely getting what they wanted. Hopefully for these two All-Stars, a new area code can help them rejuvenate their respective careers and lead their teams to a 2021 post-season trip.
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