Rockets swap Westbrook for Wall, 1st-round pick from Wizards in blockbuster deal
On Wednesday, the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards formally announced a mutual agreement to trade their unhappy star point guards with one another. The Rockets shipped Russell Westbrook to Washington D.C. in exchange for John Wall and a lottery-protected, 2023 first-round NBA draft choice.
After initial trade talks began in mid-November, the deal stalled until both teams got it done over the phone within hours Tuesday afternoon — just a day ahead of the official announcement.
Each of the teams is hoping the new faces coming into their respective organizations will convince star guards James Harden of Houston and Bradley Beal of the Wizards to remain with their teams. Previously, Harden privately told the Rockets that he wished to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets, while Beal could become a free agent in 2021.
Westbrook will reunite with his former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach, current Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. Meanwhile, the Rockets, who have expressed zero interest in trading Harden, hope to convince their disgruntled star to stay with Wall’s addition to the roster.
Although he has not played in the league since Dec. 26, 2018, from nagging knee and Achilles injuries, both Wall and the Rockets franchise are optimistic that the 30-year-old, ex-Kentucky Wildcat phenom can pair well in a potentially explosive backcourt with Harden.
Harden and Westbrook played just one season together in their reunion tour following their run together through the early 2010s with Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City. Westbrook was dealt to the Rockets in 2019 in exchange for Chris Paul and draft picks. For the latest sports coverage, click here.