The Houston Rockets remain entrenched in trade rumors around star point guard Russell Westbrook. The chatter continues to gather more legs as the offseason wears along. There is now a potential blockbuster deal on the table that could see Westbrook and John Wall swap places.
Russell Westbrook issues trade request
The offseason has quickly turned into a rough time for the Houston Rockets, with their internal issues becoming prevalent discussions around the league.
Among those matters that have surfaced is star point guard Russell Westbrook demanding a trade. Westbrook just completed his first season with the Rockets that saw him experience ups and downs along the way.
The 32-year-old put forth a strong regular season that earned him his ninth All-Star Game selection and second All-NBA Third Team nod. Westbrook averaged 27.2 points on a career-high 47.2% shooting from the floor with 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists.
The campaign headed south in the Orlando bubble situation as he struggled to move past a quad injury. Despite the ailment, he played in the playoffs, where he struggled shooting 24.2% from 3-point range while averaging 17.2 points in eight playoff games.
The Rockets’ significant turnover with the general manager Daryl Morey stepping down and Mike D’Antoni departing has led to uncertainty around the franchise. Westbrook is now potentially on the verge of having a new team with another organization stepping forward as a possible suitor.
Russell Westbrook, John Wall involved in trade talks
The last few days have seen a dwindling interest around the league in Russell Westbrook’s services.
However, a possible trade scenario emerged on Tuesday night as the Washington Wizards have talked to the Rockets concerning a deal. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Washington has spoken to Houston about a trade centered on Westbrook and John Wall.
The report marks the first time that the Wizards are listed as a potential landing spot. The desire to acquire Wall in exchange for Westbrook is quite intriguing, given that he’s coming off a torn Achilles tendon and has three years left in his four-year, $171.1 million deal.
The Kentucky product will make $41.2 million, nearly the same amount as Westbrook’s $41.3 million for next season. Their respective deals run through the 2022-23 season, with player options in the final year.
The groundwork is laid with the star players in place; it’s a matter of getting the rest of the trade scenario sorted out.
A trade imminent in Houston?
The trade market has moved slow for Russell Westbrook over the last several days since his trade request.
What the recent reports involving the Wizards suggest is that there is interest around the league. The number of teams inquiring about the former league MVP is lower than hoped, but it’s a feasible amount.
The Rockets have a potential opportunity to acquire another All-Star point guard in John Wall, who can be a foundational piece. There are lingering questions concerning Wall’s long-term health, which he will have a chance to silence those concerns in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Westbrook could move to a situation where he’s playing alongside another elite player. Bradley Beal is one of the game’s best offensive talents, which the two could form a dynamic tandem.
There isn’t any immediate urgency to get a trade worked out for Westbrook. He is under contract for potentially three more years, which keeps the ball in the Rockets’ court. Ultimately, the next few weeks should be quite telling of what direction the franchise is heading.