NBA Trade Reaction: Rockets & Wizards Swap Westbrook & Wall
Jon Impemba reacts to the NBA trade between the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards which sees Russell Westbrook and John Wall switch teams.
The NBA offseason has yet to disappoint and now, with the season just mere weeks away, the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards have come to an agreement to swap Russell Westbrook for John Wall and a 1st round pick. Let’s take a look at the impact this trade will make for both players.
Washington Wizards Acquire Russell Westbrook
The Wizards backcourt just got a lot more interesting as Westbrook will join Bradley Beal . With Houston last season RWB averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists with a 34.4-percent usage rate over 57 games played. Those numbers are rather impressive given the fact that he was playing along side James Harden who routinely ranks among the league leaders in usage rate and should show that having to play with Bradley Beal will not significantly impact the production fantasy players should be expecting from Westbrook this season.
Now, for Bradley Beal , this will be somewhat of a change to the player we have seen over the past two seasons when he WAS the Washington Wizards offense. Over the last two years Beal averaged 27.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.4 steals while playing 36.6 minutes a night. His usage rates over those two seasons were 28.4-percent and 34.4-percent. Beal will have to re-adjust to once again playing with a high usage player and one that has a bit of a different skill set than the likes of John Wall who, when healthy, was also a high usage player but did not score or take shots at the volume that Westbrook is likely going to.
A player that could be negatively impacted here would be someone like Davis Bertans who had a career year last season filling the secondary scoring roll for the Wizards. With Westbrook now in town a lot of those shots will not be there and while Bertans will still have a roll on this team and provide some outside scoring, I think we can downgrade him a bit.
In terms of ADP, I don’t think this move does much for Westbrook but I would drop Beal down slightly just knowing that a man who averaged a triple-double for three straight seasons will be joining the team.
Houston Rockets Acquire John Wall
Wall hasn’t played since the 2018-2019 season due to various injuries. Though deemed healthy to play this year, the plan for him in Washington was a strict one that was going to keep him from playing back-to-backs, seeing semi-regular rest and a potential minutes cap. If all of that holds true then there will be plenty of nights where James Harden IS the show in Houston once again. Last season in games where Westbrook did not play, we saw Harden’s usage rate balloon north of 40-percent. Playing with Westbrook did little to negatively impact Harden averaged a league leading 34.3 points per game with a usage rate of 36.3-percent.
For Wall, prior to all his injuries he was one of the leagues best point guards, averaging 21.6 points, 10.0 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals over his last three seasons. Wall’s usage rate often sat in the mid-to-upper 20-percent. The real question here is what exactly can we expect from an often-injured player who hasn’t been on the floor in two years?
This trade seemingly was made to rid each organization of player that no longer wanted to be there. To me, the Wizards came out on top as they are getting a top player that is playing in his prime while the Rockets got a total wild card and a player that hasn’t played more than 41 games since the 2016-2017 season.
Adding Wall for me does little to impact the ADP of either major player here whether it be Harden or Wall. Harden was already being drafted among the top three-to-five players and Wall’s ADP reflected his injury risk.