The Houston Rockets continued their franchise overhaul on Wednesday evening by buying and selling Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for John Wall in a swap of disgruntled level guards.
The Rockets will even obtain a first-round draft decide in 2023 within the deal. There was rising apprehension in Houston concerning the All-Star guard James Harden and his willingness to stick with the Rockets. However Houston stays intent on beginning the season with Harden on the roster and making an attempt to re-establish a relationship with him earlier than contemplating a commerce, based on an individual conversant in the Rockets’ pondering who was not approved to debate it publicly.
Westbrook joins the Rockets’ former coach Mike D’Antoni and their former common supervisor Daryl Morey on the checklist of high-profile departures because the Houston’s meek second-round playoff loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Wall has not performed in virtually two years due to left Achilles’ tendon woes, however the Wizards’ willingness to give up a first-round decide made the deal extra palatable for Houston after it beforehand explored a Westbrook cope with the Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets.
“The choice to half methods with John, one of many biggest gamers in franchise historical past, was extraordinarily tough,” Wizards Common Supervisor Tommy Sheppard stated in a press release. “What he has meant to our group and our neighborhood is immeasurable and won’t be forgotten.”
The commerce reunites Westbrook, 9 occasions an All-Star, and his former Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder coach Scott Brooks in Washington. Brooks, now the Wizards’ coach, has been a powerful advocate for a Westbrook deal regardless of the restricted commerce market Houston had discovered for Westbrook, the N.B.A.’s 2016-17 Most Precious Participant Award winner.
Wall, a five-time All-Star who had spent his entire 10-season profession with the Wizards, reunites in Houston with DeMarcus Cousins, his former school teammate at Kentucky and a detailed good friend. The Rockets signed Cousins this week to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract in hopes that Cousins, 30, a four-time All-Star, can recuperate from the Achilles’ tendon and knee accidents which have plagued him for the previous two years.
Each Westbrook, 32, and Wall, 30, have three seasons left on their contracts value barely greater than $130 million.
The Rockets acquired Westbrook from Oklahoma Metropolis in July 2019 in a commerce that value Houston the veteran guard Chris Paul, two future first-round draft picks and the appropriate to swap two further first-round picks. Westbrook averaged 27.2 factors, 7.9 rebounds and seven.0 assists as a Rocket, however the pairing with Harden fizzled within the playoffs.
D’Antoni and Morey abruptly walked away from their contracts shortly after Houston’s second-round elimination. D’Antoni wound up with the Nets as an assistant coach, and Morey is Philadelphia’s new president of basketball operations. The Rockets have since employed Stephen Silas as D’Antoni’s alternative and promoted the membership’s longtime staff counsel, Rafael Stone, to switch Morey — however reviews of each Harden’s and Westbrook’s discontent with the path of the franchise have been prevalent for weeks.
The commerce will give each Westbrook and Wall a possibility to begin over. Westbrook not solely will get to rekindle his partnership with Brooks but additionally kind one other All-Star backcourt tandem alongside Bradley Beal, who averaged 30.5 factors per recreation final season. And Wall will now launch his comeback from what’s broadly thought to be the game’s most dreaded harm alongside Harden.
The Nets’ Kevin Durant, himself making an attempt to bounce again from an Achilles’ tendon harm like Wall, stated this week that he has labored out with Wall in Los Angeles and stated he “appeared wonderful to me.”