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John Wall and Russell Westbrook in traded team uniforms

Trading Places

In the biggest move of this year’s offseason, the Washington Wizards decided to trade one of their long-time pieces. My favorite player in the NBA John Wall was traded to the Houston Rockets. Wall had denied all rumors of him demanding a trade from Washington. However, after a good week of silence, Washington eventually traded Wall and a future first-round pick for all-star point guard Russel Westbrook.

Wizards Rushed to Trade Wall

Me being selfish, I of course, would rather Wall have stayed in Washington.  I’ve been a fan of his and the team forever, and feel like he could’ve been the driving force to take Washington to the Finals. I do however understand that his production didn’t truly live up to that big contract. Seeing that Wall hasn’t played in almost 2 years, the GM and coaching staff of the Wizards had a reason for doubt.

I at least would’ve liked to see what he could potentially do after watching him play a couple of games in a Washington uniform. Perhaps the front office believed if he played a few games he wouldn’t live up to the numbers prior to his injury. If this was the case, Houston understandably wouldn’t be interested in making the swap anymore for Wall. In any event, the Wizards rushed and didn’t take that much thought.

Trading Big Contracts

Westbrook and Wall’s similarities are exactly what allowed this trade to come to fruition. Their styles of play are very similar. Their contracts were identical as well. Wall’s contract was the most practical contract to swap with Westbrook’s. Searching elsewhere, for a comparable contract, would be difficult for Houston’s GM. Offers weren’t necessarily flooding in for the former MVP. Both of the all-stars are on an exceptional pay grade.

Wall raking a 4 year  $171,131,520  deal with the Washington Wizards from back in the day making an annual average salary of $42,782,880 in 2020-2021. Westbrook identically locked in a 5 year $206,794,070 contract with Oklahoma City in the past. He will be making a calculated total of $41,358,814 this season. The indistinguishable difference between their yearly incomes brings further clarity to why this trade went through.

Why Westbrook Wanted Out

Westbrook’s former teammate James Harden wasn’t the best teammate to play alongside on and off the court. On the court when Harden doesn’t have the ball he just stands around and waits for his turn. Instead of moving around trying to find an open shot for him or someone else on the team. Off the court, Harden had immense control over the team’s activities and how they conducted things.

Harden had control of when the film started, when he showed up to practice, team meetings, etc. Being tardy to these events not only sets a bad example for the team because he is the leader, but also it is unprofessional/inconsiderate of those who did show up on time ready to work. This on top of all previous reasons just put the stamp on the envelope for Westbrook. Sending him to the Nation’s capital and Wall to H-town.

John Starcks

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