Wizards Notes: Wall, Westbrook, Beal, Practice

Addressing the WizardsJohn Wall/Russell Westbrook trade for the first time on Friday, general manager Tommy Sheppard said it wasn’t easy emotionally to move the former No. 1 overall pick. Although he’s relatively new to the GM role, Sheppard has worked in Washington’s front office since 2003 and watched Wall develop over the last decade.

“Just watching John become the man that he is today, it’s difficult to say goodbye,” Sheppard said, per Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. “On an emotional level, that was a very difficult trade for me, by far in my 27 years in this business.”

While it was hard to trade Wall, Sheppard believes it was the right move, and one that “definitely changes the future of the franchise,” as Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today relays.

“Russell’s resume speaks for itself,” Sheppard said of Washington’s new point guard. “It’s an opportunity to make the Washington Wizards a better franchise. … This is the right thing to do. We made that trade, and we move forward.”

Here’s more on the Wizards, with a focus on the Westbrook/Wall deal:

  • A pair of Eastern Conference executives who spoke to Ava Wallace and Ben Golliver of The Washington Post like the Wizards’ acquisition of Westbrook, despite the inherent risk. “Washington improved because they have someone that can functionally play in the games and the head coach has deep familiarity with the player acquired. Totally worth the risk,” one exec said. “The bigger risk was returning someone from a dramatic injury that so heavily relied on speed to be effective.”
  • Bradley Beal had his first media session of the season on Friday and acknowledged that the trade of Wall had made it an “emotional week.” Beal, who said he’d had several positive conversations with Wall this week, insisted that the “rumors and noise” about their relationship over the years were wrong. He also said that he’s on board with the team’s belief that Westbrook will make them better and is looking forward to playing alongside him (all Twitter links via David Aldridge of The Athletic).
  • The Wizards believe that Westbrook’s and Beal’s “hyper-competitive personalities will harmonize,” Fred Katz of The Athletic writes within a story about why the Wizards and Rockets swapped point guards.
  • The Wizards were among the teams that were able to hold their first group practice on Friday, having begun their coronavirus testing early, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Westbrook didn’t participate in today’s practice, but he arrived in Washington and is expected to be available for Saturday’s practice, Stein adds (via Twitter).
  • Wall published a message on Twitter on Thursday to say goodbye to Wizards fans and to D.C.
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15 thoughts on “Wizards Notes: Wall, Westbrook, Beal, Practice

  1. harden (mvp),wall, and wood

    John Wall will make the most of this astonishing opportunity he’s been given.

    • Lakers1

      Will it be Astonishing when harden is dealt? Harden really is a piece of crap.. this organization has bent over backwards for him..so lebron gets crap for joining loaded teams.. he came over to a laker team that built the team after he arrived.. Kd joined a loaded teams.. harden has had pieces given to him and yet it’s the same story.. his style will never win a ring.

    • Lionel Muggeridge

      Must’ve been annoying to have to change your name. You’ll have to do it again when Harden gets traded

      • Little_Dunker_45

        Good thing Lionel is on the case for today’s briefing on Hoopsrumors usernames…

  2. Sillivan

    The second coming of Wall is overrated
    This isn’t DT’s Wall
    This is JW’s Wall

  3. DeathbyDeathwest

    Harden for…

    … Heild? Dinwiddle and LeVert?

    … Blake Griffin?

    … waiting for a trade in street clothes.

    • seattlesuperfan

      If it is the nets he’s traded too it’ll have to be caris dinwiddie prince and a draft pick don’t see them doing that though

      If he does get dealt it’s not going to be a team he wants I can almost guarantee that. Hell
      More then likely reach FA before he gets traded

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Always been a Westbrook fan. He and KD did fine while KD was highest scorer. Wizards gave talent enough for a playoff team. Rui I believe is going to be an all star one day. Westbrook is one hardest competitors of his generation. That’s what you want most in your stars. Rockets are rolling the dice. Have been since trading for Westbrook. Harden will never win, he’s not a team guy. I’m rooting for Wall. He won’t be same player. He will have change his game. He might take a yr or two to comeback. He’s a good enough PG (ast) to still be effective. But with Harden dominating the ball. It’s not going to be easy. Looks to me Rockets are preparing for Harden to leave. They can get a nice deal and rebuild. He turned down extension with Rockets. It’s best to trade him this yr. So the other team can sign him. I think he’s gone by TD.

  5. Lionel Muggeridge

    The Wizards will be much improved. Russell will cause a lot of damage in the weak east.

    • Little_Dunker_45

      Celtics, weak. Bucks, weak. Nets, weak. Pacers, weak. Sixers, weak. Heat, weak. Raptors, weak. Did I forget anyone? Yeah no it should be a cakewalk for the Wizards. East is weak.

  6. I just want to take a second to say thank you to the guys who work on this website and write the articles. It is so awesome for instance the different things we can click on to read what’s being referenced. I love that !! IE, John Wall’s goodbye message. Instead of having to Google it, you provide the link that we can click on in the article.., that is so awesome, thank you for that. I know it takes a little bit of extra work but it’s really a fantastic thing.

    Plus.., every player has his profile basketball reference link that we can just click on. Really really a wonderful thing you do going the extra effort to provide that for us. Thank you guys, I for one really appreciate it.

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