NBA Trade News – The Houston Rockets stunned the NBA world with a wheel and deal move between Russell Westbrook and John Wall. The Rockets agreed to ship the 32-year-old point guard to the Washington Wizards in exchange for fellow point guard John Wall.
Westbrook-Wall Trade Breakdown
The terms of the deal state that Washington receives Westbrook, and the Rockets acquire both Wall and a lottery-protected 2023 first round pick. The Athletic’s Shams Charania was among those to report the breaking news.
This deal involves two All-Star guards who both went on to sign mega contract extensions. The deal was broken down by ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
Westbrook is projected to earn $41.4M and $44.2M across the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons. He also carries with him a player option worth about $47.1M for 2022/23. Wall is expected to make $41.3M and $44.3M over that same timeframe and is owed a $47.4M player option. Marks also added that Wall’s 15% trade bonus will be null and void because his salary is beyond the league’s maximum threshold.
Tension and Negotiation
In the leadup to the blockbuster trade, both Westbrook and Wall demanded trade requests to their respective franchises for weeks.
On November 11, Westbrook told the Rockets organization he felt “uneasy about the team’s accountability and culture.” This made Westbrook’s intentions crystal clear that he wants to join an organization where he will once again be the lead ball-handler. This will likely be the case when he goes to DC.
Wall’s request came in just days later when the Wizards leaked the news that they had contacted the Rockets about a potential Westbrook-Wall trade. Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard denied the news saying the team does not plan on moving Wall.
According to NBA’s senior Insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Rockets GM Rafael Stone and Sheppard had not spoken about it since October. The two GMs calmly negotiated about the idea and eventually got themselves a deal. It took within a few hours for the deal to be finalize, Woj confirmed this via ESPN.
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