Unlike James Harden, Russell Westbrook has yet to gain clarity on which NBA team he could end up with. The New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets have been mentioned as potential stops but both remain in the rumor mill. What about the Washington Wizards?
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Washington has reportedly had a discussion with the Houston Rockets about a potential Westbrook for John Wall trade. However, that is just about it and the deal has yet to gain any ground.
A reason seen behind this is the $132 million contract that Westbrook carries. Wall would match those numbers only that it raises more questions. One is the condition of Wall who is coming off several injuries. Will he be fit to make an NBA return? If he does, will the 30-year-old guard still play at the same level as before?
The Rockets and Wizards have discussed a deal centered on Russell Westbrook for John Wall, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. No traction yet, Rockets are seeking more assets. — Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 17, 2020
As far as Westbrook is concerned, there is no doubt that the former NBA MVP wants to be the top dog on whatever team he ends up with. With the Wizards, he is unlikely to get that right with Bradley Beal acknowledged as the face of the franchise. Hence, Westbrook could move to the Wizards and try to co-exist with Beal. But will this turn out successful?
So while the numbers make sense, the fit is a big question mark. For now, Westbrook will have to wait and see which team will pick him up and become his new home.
For the Rockets, they stand to lose two stars before the 2020-21 NBA season. Harden rejected a huge $103 million offer spanning two years, one that could have made him the first NBA player to earn at least $50 million a season.
Westbrook was the first one to request a trade. He seemed at odds with the plans of the franchise and prefers to play for a team that is out to make big strides.
The Knicks and the Hornets make sense but the big money that comes with Westbrook is seen as the problem. New York would be perfect considering they are looking for a point guard and a leader.
Westbrook has already proven he can carry a team on his shoulders. But New York is wary of spending too much on the 32-year-old guard and has no chance of pursuing other stars. A clearer picture of this should develop in the coming weeks.