What Russell Westbrook adds to the Wizards: Playmaking ability
Without a true point guard, the Wizards were in the middle of the pack in terms of creating opportunities for each other last season. They finished the 2019-2020 season ranked 12th in total assists, averaging 25.0 per game. Bradley Beal took over most of the playmaking responsibilities last year with John Wall out due to injury. He averaged a career-high 6.1 assists per game while also setting a new career-high in points per game, 30.5. Beal led the team in both categories.
Now, with a true point guard in Westbrook, Beal can go back to just being the shooting guard. The pressure of having to create his own shot and shots for his teammates will be alleviated. Westbrook had to share point guard duties with James Harden last season in Houston, but he still managed to average 7.0 assists per game. While playing his more natural role as the primary ball-handler for Oklahoma City, Westbrook averaged at least ten assists from 2015-2019.
The addition of Russell Westbrook will make life easier for everybody! Opposing teams often pack the paint vs. Westbrook because they have to respect his speed and athleticism. He can get to the rim in the blink of an eye. But that leaves Bradley Beal with more space on the perimeter to operate, instead of being constantly suffocated like he was last season. Having Russell Westbrook as a second option will open up the floor and allow him to do his thing.
But not just Beal! The whole team will benefit from having the nine-time All-NBA and All-Star player initiating the offense. Davis Bertans will enjoy catch and shoot opportunities as easy as layups. Thomas Bryant will feast on dump-offs under the basket. The list goes on. Just his presence alone will boost the entire unit.