2. Can Russell Westbrook Stay Healthy?
This next storyline is something that could define the Westbrook era in Washington. Unlike with Wall, who hasn’t played in two years, one good thing about Westbrook is that we know exactly what we are getting. H’s pedal-to-the-metal point guard who wants to get out in space and score the basketball.
The concern is how long Westbrook can keep up his ferocious style of play. He is currently 32 years old, and by the time his current contract is up, he will be 35. He is at a very delicate age where certain injuries could accelerate his decline.
Like the player he was traded for, Westbrook has a predicated game on speed and athleticism. A serious injury at this age would pretty much guarantee he takes a step back. Russ has a history of knee injuries, so although he’s been healthy while Wall’s been sidelined, that could all change instantly.
Things like on-court fit will be moot in the long run if he can not sustain his style and continue to play at a high level.
This is not to say that Russ has been injury prone. Actually, he has been very durable over his past few seasons and has only missed 29 regular-season games over the past five seasons. That includes an eight-game absence from the bubble due to a positive COVID-19 test. But there’s no denying his very real injury history.
If Westbrook can continue to keep up his high octane style and stay healthy, the Wizards will have a top-15 player on their roster for the next three seasons who will help this franchise return to prominence.
With all the miles Westbrook has racked up over the years, his health isn’t guaranteed. If nagging injuries start popping up as Westbrook nears the twilight of his career, the Wizards could be dealing with another overpriced and often-injured point guard before they know it.