Russell Westbrook for John Wall (and a first round draft pick). This is one of those trades where you just sit back, shrug your shoulders and go, “mmmm-kay.”
I originally liked the trade a little bit for the Washington Wizards in pairing Westbrook with Bradley Beal, but the more I look at it, Westbrook and Wall are two dudes who are essentially the same guy.
Both shoot around 30% from the three-point line. Both are ball-dominate players. Both are headed to destinations where they are not the best player. As a result, both may end up being chemistry problems on their new teams.
One important thing that I haven’t brought up: both do not make their teams exponentially better in terms of playoff chances.
Westbrook will be instant box-office in Washington with Beal, but is that enough to finish high in the standings in a deep Eastern Conference? The first seven spots belong to the Bucks, Nets, Raptors, Celtics, Heat, Sixers and Pacers. The Magic were also in the playoffs and the Hawks figure to be much better.
So now the question is where does that leaves the Wizards? I’d say their ceiling is MAYBE the seventh seed, more likely the eighth.
The Rockets were already behind the Lakers, those choking-ass Clippers, Nuggets, Mavericks, and Jazz. With the Warriors getting ALMOST healthy, and Suns improved with the Chris Paul trade, I don’t bullish on the Rockets’ ceiling as well with Wall. They’ll be fighting the Blazers, Pelicans and Spurs for the eighth seed at best.
Plus, as they say in sports, the best ability is AVAILABILITY. Wall has been hurt the last three season, playing less than a full season (82 games) in that time span. If it ain’t a messed up knee, it’s an Achilles injury (which caused him to miss all of last season).
I don’t know what the fuck the folks in Houston are doing. I mean, are they REALLY trying to piss off James Harden that much? Everyone and their mamas know that Harden wants out.
So bottom line, neither the Wizards nor Rockets got better in this trade. It was, as Skip Bayless from FS1’s “Undisputed” coined it, “they traded PROBLEMS”…