Russell Westbrook is one of the most polarising players in the NBA, to some he’s one of the most exciting point guards in the league and still has the ability of an MVP inside him. Whereas, to others he’s an extroverted, aggressive player who is past his prime and slowly on the decline.
It’s fair to say his move to Houston didn’t turn out as planned for either Westbrook or the franchise. The Rockets gave up Chris Paul, two first round picks, and the right to swap first-rounders in 2021 and 2025 to the Oklahoma Thunder for Westbrook. A big trade to acquire a singular player but Houston had to keep star player James Harden happy so they had no choice but to make a move for another star.
Just over a year and a second round play-off exit later and Westbrook will be heading across country to Washington for a fresh start. So where does Westbrook stand in his new franchise? The Wizards finished ninth in the East, one spot away from a play-off birth, without star player John Wall who will now be heading to Houston. It did however, allow Bradley Beal to shine as he recorded numerous career highs as he averaged the second highest points tally in the NBA season with 30 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.
While Beal said seeing Wall leave was: “a tough pill to swallow” there was clearly a level of excitement seeing Westbrook join the Wizards.
“The calibre of player in Russ and what he is able to do – a former MVP, walking triple-double, he is going to bring a spark to our team and an energy to our city.”
But while Beal has blossomed into the most underrated star in the league, Westbrook will still be at the forefront of this Wizards team. Not only does he add star quality to Washington, the franchise itself has all the pieces needed to allow Westbrook to thrive.
If you want to keep up to date with all the NBA news, make sure to check out our other article on the absence of James Harden from Rockets training today.