The Washington Wizards traded point guard John Wall and gave up a 2023 projected first-round draft pick to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster deal Wednesday.
Washington drafted the former University of Kentucky star with their No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. The 30-year-old provided the Wizards with leadership and playmaking ability for nearly a decade, averaging 19 points, 9.2 assists, 1.7 steals, and more than 4 rebounds during his time in Washington.
His career has been marred by injuries in recent years, however, with his last game coming in December 2018.
Westbrook, an 11-year veteran, averaged 27.2 points, 7 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game in his first and only season in Houston. He’ll reunite with Wizards head coach, who coached him during his stint in Oklahoma City, including an NBA Finals appearance in 2012.
“Having the opportunity to acquire a player of Russell’s caliber and character was something that we could not pass up when looking at both the immediate and long-term future of our team,” said Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard. “With that said, the decision to part ways with John, one of the greatest players in franchise history, was extremely difficult. What he has meant to our organization and our community is immeasurable and will not be forgotten.”