Why the Wizards should’ve Kept Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Despite all the criticism and trade rumors surrounding Russell Westbrook the last few seasons, he is an all-time great. While he is currently helping the Los Angeles Lakers in a Sixth Man role, Westbrook can be a starter on any other roster in the NBA. The Wizards had success when Russell Westbrook was at the point, and it was the last time the District had been to the Playoffs. Maybe the Wizards should not have traded him in 2021.

Back in 2021, the Lakers and Wizards made a deal to trade Westbrook along with their 2024 and 2028 second-round picks for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 overall pick of the 2021 Draft. The Wizards only kept Kuzma after that season. As good as Kuz has become as a player, you don’t just give away an all-time great and a former MVP. Russ gave the Wizards the dynamic backcourt help that Bradley Beal needed since the departure of John Wall. Every team needs a point guard who can not only control the offense but can be a leader.

Russell Westbrook in his sole season (2020-21), stayed true to his nickname of Mr. Triple Double. He broke the record for most triple-doubles all-time, passing Oscar Robertson. Russ totaled 38 triple-doubles that season, which is the record for Washington. The second most for the Wizards was Darrell Walker who tallied 15 over a 283-game span. John Wall had 7 over 573 games and Wes Unseld had 7 over 984. The all-around play helped the team make the Playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season with a 34-38 record. Westbrook averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.2 rebounds per game. The rebounds and assists were a career-high for him. Also, he led the league in assists that season. He had the most triple doubles in the league that season as well. Bradley Beal also averaged a career-high 31.3 points per game playing alongside Russell Westbrook.

The Washington Wizards just seem to be better when they have a dominant point guard. If the Wizards could have Russell Westbrook now, they would at least be competing for a Play-In Spot. If they can strike a team to bring him back, it would be great for the organization.

Next. Is it time for the Wizards to move this former All-Star?. dark