Rockets and Wizards Talk About Swapping Russell Westbrook and John Wall

John Wall at the NBA All-Star Game in 2017. Photo by Stephen Lew/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

It isn’t a secret that All-Star guard Russell Westbrook wants out of Houston Rockets. Numerous reports have indicated that Westbrook isn’t happy with the direction the organization is headed after parting ways with general manager Daryl Morey and head coach Mike D’Antoni and would like to continue his career elsewhere.

Several destinations for the 2017’s MVP have been mentioned in recent weeks, including LA Clippers and New York Knicks, but according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, an unexpected contender entered the Westbrook sweepstakes in the past couple of days.

Charania reported on Tuesday that Washington Wizards have shown interest in Westbrook and have already engaged in talks with the Rockets about a potential deal that would see John Wall head in the opposite direction. He also points out that the talks haven’t gained significant traction so far as Houston wants more assets included besides Wall. 

The assets that Rockets ask for are most likely draft picks as there is no need to include another player in the deal to have a salary match. Both Wall and Westbrook are on similar contracts, being scheduled to earn around $132 million in the next three years.

The deal would make sense for the Wizards as they are looking to build around All-Star Bradley Beal and get back to contention after a couple of rough years. While John Wall was once among the most electrifying players in the game, injuries have greatly diminished his impact in recent years. Washington now probably believes he won’t be able to return to being the player he once was.

Russell Westbrook, on the other hand, is still considered to be among the best players in his position despite his shortcomings in the shooting department. Pairing him with Beal and another talent like sharpshooter Davis Bertans would almost guarantee Wizards a playoff spot and probably even a chance to make a deep playoff run.