The Good: The Washington Wizards add an All-NBA talent
First and foremost, Wall’s albatross of a contract is gone! That alone is a plus! John Wall will always be cherished in D.C. for everything he did on and off the court. What he’s given the city as a basketball player and as a man has been nothing short of incredible.
However, it’s hard to overlook the fact that he hasn’t touched the floor since December 26, 2018. With three years remaining on his contract, the Wizards were set to pay Wall $42 million, $44 million, and $47 million over the next three seasons. That’s a big commitment to a player attempting to return from a major injury. Wall has looked great in workouts but those aren’t actual NBA games.
The fear of the unknown with John Wall made the trade for Russell Westbrook well worth the risk. Westbrook is coming off of his ninth All-NBA and ninth All-Star season. In 57 games with the Houston Rockets, he averaged 27.2 points, 7.0 assists, and 7.9 rebounds per game. He wasn’t the perfect compliment next to James Harden but he didn’t let that affect his game. Russ still performed at a high level because he gives 100% effort every single night!
You never have to question whether or not Westbrook is ready to play. His motor is running non-stop. There was a three-month stretch in particular last season where Russell Westbrook went absolutely crazy! From January 1st, until the season was suspended in March, Westbrook averaged 31.7 PPG, 6.8 APG, and 8.1 RPG. He was unstoppable during those 23 games. Attacking the basket relentlessly, Westbrook still gets to the rim with ease and was one of the league leaders in points scored in the paint.
The reunion with his former coach Scott Brooks will help Westbrook’s transition to a new team. Oklahoma City drafted Russell Westbrook with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 draft and he played seven seasons under coach Brooks with the Thunder. Brooks was an integral part of Westbrook’s development as a player and now knows how to get the most out of Westbrook. Plus, Westbrook will trust Brooks to put him in the best positions to succeed. The fit may not be flawless next to Bradley Beal, but this duo instantly becomes a top-five backcourt in the NBA once the season starts. They are must-see TV!