Russell Westbrook got his wish.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 3, 2020
Westbrook, along with teammate James Harden, had both reportedly asked for trades out of Houston this offseason — one report suggested that it was due in part to team owner Tilman Fertitta’s support of President Donald Trump.
Westbrook was linked to Wall and the Wizards for a potential trade, though talks between the two sides had reportedly stalled for weeks. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, both general managers suddenly came together and reached the deal in a matter of hours on Wednesday.
“Having the opportunity to acquire a player of Russell’s caliber and character was something that we could not pass up when looking at both the immediate and long-term future of our team,” Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said in a statement. “With that said, the decision to part ways with John, one of the greatest players in franchise history, was extremely difficult. What he has meant to our organization and our community is immeasurable and will not be forgotten.”
Westbrook averaged 27.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game with the Rockets last season, his first with the team after spending his first 11 seasons in the league with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Though Harden also reportedly wanted out, the Rockets don’t expect a deal to get done before the season starts on Dec. 22 and “hope to be competitive” with him, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
John Wall hasn’t played since 2018
Wall has played in just 73 games over the past three seasons due to numerous brutal injuries, including a ruptured Achilles’ tendon he suffered at his home in 2019. Wall missed all of last season while rehabbing the injury, and has three years left on his four-year, $171 million deal that he signed just before getting hurt.
The five-time All-Star averaged 23.1 points and 10.7 assists during the 2016-17 season, his last full season.
The former No. 1 overall pick has spent his entire career with the Wizards, though will now reunite with former Kentucky teammate DeMarcus Cousins — who reached a one-year deal with the Rockets last month.
“I’ve seen enough of [Wall] the last two years and certainly this summer to know that he’s gotten his explosiveness back,” Sheppard said late last month. “He’s very comfortable from 3 now and that is something that I think will be a huge weapon for us moving forward.”
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