Breaking Down the Wall/Westbrook Trade

Wizards fans are in tears, and Rockets fans are throwing parties in Houston. Almost 100% of Wizards fans are John Wall fans, so this trade hurt a lot of people. Rockets fans have hated Westbrook since the bubble for his poor performance, which wasn't entirely his fault.

John Wall hasn't played since 2018, and Wizards fans were desperate to see him play, yet seemingly nervous that he might get injured again. Wizard fan or not, you've likely seen at least one video of John Wall participating in an open run someplace somewhere, and he's looked pretty darn good. His speed looks just as good as it used to, so worries about his explosion with the basketball can be put to rest. On the Westbrook side, the last time fans saw him, he was struggling in the bubble with shooting and turnovers. Unfortunately, that is automatically what people now think of when they think of Westbrook even though even was heavily impeded by injuries. However, not all of it was on the injury, and that's what has people like me concerned for the Wizards. Westbrook needed to realize that he was turning the ball over and shooting the ball horribly. I know this isn't the most Russell Westbrook type of a thing to do, but he needed to realize that he needed to make simple passes, not no look and behind the back passes. Also, he needed to just stop shooting outright. His continuity of shooting dragged the team down because it was honestly a waste of a possession.

How will Wall fit it with Houston? We haven't seen DeMarcus Cousins play since the 2018-19 season when he was with the Warriors, but if he brings back that same intensity this year, we could see a very dangerous duo with Wall and Cousins. Cousins is already hyped that Wall is joining his team, and I think that simply the presence of John Wall as a friend will push Cousins to play harder, not to mention the fact that John Wall as a player can help Cousins play better. Although D'Antoni is gone, the team is still filled with shooters, even down to the centers with Cousins and Christian Wood. Shooters for Houston will stretch the floor, and having Wall at point guard will work out very well. Wall is a dangerous option to drive to the hoop for the flashy dunk or layup, but when he draws help, he will kick it out to shooters on the wings or in the corners such as P.J. Tucker, Gerald Green, Ben McLemore, Eric Gordon, etc. Wall will also have a lethal PnR and PnF (pick and fade) partner in Christian Wood. I've said it before, Wood was going to thrive on this team without Wall, and he'll thrive with Wall.

How will Russell Westbrook benefit the Wizards? Nobody ever would've thought this, but Russ actually wanted to play for the Wizards. He approves of Beal's game and wants to be apart of it. He could help Beal, but he could certainly help other youngsters in Washington as well. The Wizards don't stand out in anything particular, but if there's something that they're better at as a team, it's unquestionably offense. Westbrook will help Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant flourish into solid NBA players, and although Westbrook may be new to them, Wall hasn't been with these young players for very long either. Since he last played during the 2018-19 season, only three players besides Bradley Beal, Troy Brown Jr., Thomas Bryant, and Gary Payton II have been with him until now. So Wizards fans, it's not like Wall has remained with the current Wizards squad forever, in fact, he's not. He's only spent one year with the current players, so all the talk about the chemistry that will be lost can be put to bed.

It's clear that Westbrook wants to be with the Wizards, and although it will take some time for Beal to get over the fact that Wall is gone, I think these two can work well together. Beal will see less scoring and even fewer assists, but will still be an all-star caliber player. Russ has made it clear, he realizes that Beal is a fantastic player, and he understands that Beal needs the ball to be an incredible player. I feel that Russ will give up a lot of his regular scoring share to ensure that Beal continues to thrive. The Wizards gave up many offensive rebounds last year, and Westbrook can help with that. Russ is an insanely gifted athletic point guard that can snare several rebounds every single game. That being stated, having another dominant rebounder will help limit the number of offensive rebounds opposing teams grab each game. On the defensive side, Wall and Westbrook are both above average and physical defenders for their position, so either team isn't giving up much of anything defensively.

In regards to the actual trade that was made, it could go either way. Personally, I would've liked the Wizards to acquire another asset from the Rockets in exchange for another pick. There are a lot of people who say the Wizards need more young talent and draft picks, but that's exactly what they don't need because it's all they have right now. Look down the Wizards' roster.

There are several rookies, a couple of 2nd-year players, 3rd year players, and the 4th year players are almost looked at as old on this team. It's clear that this team doesn't need any more young talent, they need win-now options, and if they're truly committed to building around Beal, and now Westbrook as well, we should see some more trades from the Wizards in the near future.

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