Washington Wizards: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from the John Wall for Russell Westbrook trade

Washington Wizards John Wall (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Washington Wizards John Wall (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Bad: The Washington Wizards add an aging and inefficient point guard

Of course, when it comes to Russell Westbrook you can’t mention the good without the bad. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a fantastic player, but he comes with his fair share of weaknesses.

Wizards fans often complained about Wall’s inability to hit the three-pointer consistently, but Westbrook is worse from behind the arc. He’s a career 30.5 percent shooter from three, while Wall has shot 32.4 percent for his career. Last season, Westbrook shot a horrendous 25.8 percent from behind the three-point line. After the Rockets traded Clint Capela midseason to open up the paint, Westbrook pretty much abandoned the three-point shot altogether.

The majority of Westbrook’s shot attempts were either right at the rim or in the mid-range. Those are his go-to spots on the floor and opposing teams are well aware of that. Defenders simply back off when he’s behind the three-point line and dare him to shoot. This weakness was exposed against the Lakers in the playoffs last year. Westbrook missing the start of the playoffs with a strained right quad muscle didn’t help, either. When he was on the floor, though, he was easy to contain because his offense was predictable. LA clogged the lane and forced him into tough jump shots because he’s not an efficient shooter. Per ESPN Stats and Info, of the 78 NBA players that have launched at least 2,000 jump shots over the last five seasons, Russell Westbrook ranks dead last in efficiency. John Wall ranks 77th.

That’s not good! Westbrook has to continue to evolve as a player even as he enters his 13th season. His a hundred-miles-and-running playing style is unbelievable to watch, but it can be detrimental because he’s careless with the rock. He averaged 4.5 turnovers per game last year, which was tied for 2nd worst in the league. Bradley Beal will help with some of the ball-handling responsibilities, but Beal averaged 3.4 turnovers per game last season. They both must improve.

Last but not least, age. Westbrook just turned 32 this past November, and he’ll be 35 when his contract is up. During his tenure in OKC, he dealt with a few knee injuries. However, he’s only missed 29 games since 2015, which isn’t bad. The Wizards are hoping that Westbrook remains durable and that the wear and tear from over the years doesn’t catch up to him.