Rockets ship Westbrook to Wizards in exchange for John Wall, draft pick
LOS ANGELES – The Houston Rockets agreed to send disgruntled point guard Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for former first round draft pick John Wall, the Wizards announced on Wednesday.
The Wizards also received a first round draft pick in the blockbuster deal which reunites Westbrook with former Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
The trade ends a single season in Houston for the 32-year-old Westbrook, who spent the previous 11 years with the Thunder.
After the underachieving Rockets were eliminated in this season’s playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers, head coach Mike D’Antoni decided to leave the team. Westbrook and James Harden then reportedly told the Rockets they wanted to be traded.
“Russell’s accomplishments and honors on the court speak for themselves, but his drive and will to win are what separate him as a truly unique player,” Brooks said.
“As much as I’m looking forward to reuniting with him, I’m equally sad to say goodbye to John. He is one of the toughest and most gifted players I’ve ever been around and we all wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
Wall was originally the first overall pick by Washington in the 2010 entry draft.
In 573 career games for the Wizards, he averaged 19.0 points, 9.2 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.70 steals. Wall joins Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history with career averages of at least 19.0 points per game, 9.0 assists per game, and 4.0 rebounds per game.
Over the past six seasons, Wall is the only player in the league to have averaged at least 20.0 ppg and 10.0 apg. The five-time all-star ranks sixth in NBA history in assists per game and is second to Chris Paul among active players.
Westbrook has career averages of 23.2 points, 8.3 assists and 7.1 rebounds in 878 games (861 starts). He has 146 career triple-doubles, which ranks second all-time behind Hall of Famer Robertson’s 181.
Westbrook is slated to make $41.4 million in 2020-21.
“Having the opportunity to acquire a player of Russell’s caliber and character was something that we could not pass up when looking at both the immediate and long-term future of our team,” Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard said.
“With that said, the decision to part ways with John, one of the greatest players in franchise history, was extremely difficult. What he has meant to our organization and our community is immeasurable and will not be forgotten.”
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