The Wizards and the Rockets have talked about making a star-studded point guard swap, having explored trading former All-Star point guard John Wall for current All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter link). Charania notes that Houston currently desires additional pieces in the deal, and that there is “no traction” for the trade just yet.
Wall, 30, has not played in an NBA game for the Wizards since December 26, 2018, felled by a series of injuries, including a torn Achilles. Westbrook, 32, recently requested a trade out of Houston following his inaugural season with the team.
Were this potential move to materialize, it could indicate that the Wizards are striving to improve their roster to entice star shooting guard Bradley Beal, 27, to stay with the team and not ask for a trade himself. Beal has two guaranteed years and $63.25MM left on his contract, with a $37.3MM player option for the 2022/23 season.
Though Rockets star guard Westbrook is not much of a floor spacer, his dynamic scoring, passing and rebounding – plus his consistent on-court availability – could greatly help the Wizards, a team that finished the 2019/20 season just outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture with the No. 9 seed.
Conversely, trading the relatively active Westbrook to the Wizards for the oft-hurt Wall could indicate a willingness from the Rockets front office to consider James Harden trade offers, after their MVP-caliber guard requested a trade of his own.
Westbrook and Wall’s contracts are remarkably similar in terms of length and price, though obviously the on-court risks associated with adding Wall are significantly greater. Assuming Westbrook opts in to the final year of his contract with the Rockets, Westbrook has three seasons and $132.6MM remaining. Wall has three years and $132.9MM left on his deal, assuming he opts into the final year of his own deal with the Wizards.