Every year, the Houston Rockets make a blockbuster trade. This offseason is no different, as the Rockets recently traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a first-round pick.
Houston acquired Westbrook last offseason in a huge trade with Oklahoma City. The former MVP’s stint with the Rockets wasn’t terrible by any means, but it seems like his skillset doesn’t mesh well with James Harden’s.
Another interesting aspect to this trade is whether or not it’ll affect Harden’s relationship with the Rockets. He’s been linked to several trade rumors over the past month, yet it doesn’t sound like he’ll be moved this season.
ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski addressed what this Westbrook-Wall swap means for Harden during his latest appearance on Get Up.
“James Harden had a preference of John Wall over Westbrook, although in the last couple years he’s moved teammates out,” Wojnarowski said. “He brought Chris Paul in, then moved him out, same with Westbrook now. Whether it’ll be enough to convince Harden to stay long term, Rockets aren’t sure about that.”
Wojnarowski said the Rockets are hopeful that Wall will return to his All-Star form. If that happens, that will strengthen Houston’s case to keep Harden around for the long haul.
.@wojespn details the Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade:
"[James Harden] had a preference of John Wall over Westbrook." pic.twitter.com/GoAHv1QVUj
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) December 3, 2020
The Rockets have tried extremely hard to put a championship-caliber roster around Harden for the past several years. With his patience running thin, it seems like this trade is the last chance for the front office to impress him.
Only time will tell if Houston made the right move trading Westbrook for Wall.