Breaking down the latest blockbuster deal in the NBA
Another day, another Woj Bomb in the NBA. The Houston Rockets are sending Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a protected 2023 first round pick.
Three to four years ago this would have been the biggest news of the entire sporting landscape. Westbrook was at the peak of his powers, averaging a triple double and winning an MVP for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and John Wall was one of the best guards in the league, leading the Wizards to multiple second round playoff appearances (the furthest the Wizards have been since the 1982, according to RealGM).
Now, it’s not quite as sexy of a trade. Wall has been sidelined the past two seasons with an achilles injury and hasn’t played more than 50 games in a season since 2017, according to The Ringer. As for Westbrook, even though statistically, he’s been just as good as he’s ever been, his efficiency has become a thing of comedy among NBA insiders. Westbrook is going to his third team in three seasons. That’s telling. Oh, and both these guys aren’t getting any younger (Wall – 30 years old, Westbrook – 32 years old). Having said all that, these two guys are still big names. They are two of the most athletic players in NBA history, and, when healthy, they’re both all-stars at worst.
As for the actual basketball part of the deal, their’s not much difference in John Wall and Russell Westbrook’s game. They’re very reliant on their athleticism. They’re two of the quickest players in the league. Both are ultimate competitors, especially Westbrook. They treat every game like it’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals, and they’re great in the pick-and-roll. When healthy, the two are always at the top of the league in assists per game. On the defensive end, Wall and Westbrook are both exceptional defenders. Last but certainty not least, both are terrible shooters. Just terrible. Wall better than Westbrook, but that’s not saying much.
Even though Wall and Westbrook are very similar players, this deal is actually good for one team and concerning for the other. Here’s a hint: “Houston, we have a problem.”