Ladies and gentlemen, we have some big news to report.
The John Wall Era ... has come to an end.
Houston has agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall and a first-round pick, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 3, 2020
Wojnarowski went on to say that the deal was done rather quickly, after a weeks-long period where both teams were at an impasse over what to do.
The two GM's -- Washington's Tommy Sheppard and Houston's Rafael Stone -- hadn't talked in weeks on the deal, but connected this afternoon and had a deal done within a few hours, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/qmuPclNoU5— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 3, 2020
The first round pick coming to the Rockets is protected, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The earliest pick that could go Houston’s way is in 2023 which is lottery protected. In other words, if the Wizards make the 2023 NBA Playoffs, the pick is going Houston’s way.
But if the Wizards are lottery bound in 2023, the protections become a bit more defined. In 2024, the pick is Top-12 protected. Then in 2025, it’s Top-10 protected. And in 2026, the pick is Top-8 protected.
If the Wizards somehow are lottery bound and have a Top-8 pick or better from 2023-26, then they will have to give up two second round picks.
Sources: Protection on the first-round pick that the Wizards traded to Houston in Russell Westbrook/John Wall trade: 2023, Lottery; 2024, Top 12; 2025, Top 10; 2026, Top 8; then becomes two second-rounders.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 3, 2020
Westbrook comes to Washington as a nine-time NBA All-Star and the 2016-17 NBA Most Valuable Player. He was also part of the USA Basketball men’s national team that won the Gold Medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. Last season, Westbrook was named to the All-NBA Third Team where he averaged 27.2 points, 7.0 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game.
In Washington, Westbrook will be reunited with head coach Scott Brooks, who was his head coach from 2009-16 when both were part of the Oklahoma City Thunder. During this time, Oklahoma City made the 2012 NBA Finals. His addition would also presumably take away any excuses from Brooks for having a subpar season — this is his last year under contract.
Wall leaves Washington as the franchise’s all-time career leader in assists and steals. He first came to the Wizards as the first overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft. Along the way, he was also a five-time NBA All-Star and All-NBA Third Team mention in the 2016-17 season. In addition, Wall was a well-loved philanthropist in D.C. communities, winning the NBA Cares Community Assist award in the 2015-16 season.
John, thank you for being the face of the Wizards for the past 10 years. We really appreciate it! We will have our tributes for you later this week!
And to Russ, welcome to D.C.