The Washington Wizards have now officially traded John Wall to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook, according to a team announcement on Wednesday night. The initial news was reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
General Manager Tommy Sheppard said the following in a statement:
“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. 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.”
Head Coach Scott Brooks, who also coached Westbrook while with the Oklahoma City Thunder from 2009-16, said the following:
“Russell’s accomplishments and honors on the court speak for themselves, but his drive and will to win are what separate him as a truly unique player. As much as I’m looking forward to reuniting with him, I’m equally sad to say good-bye to John. He is one of the toughest and most gifted players I’ve ever been around and we all wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
Ted Leonsis, the Wizards’ principal owner also tweeted the following:
I am very grateful to @JohnWall and his family for all they have done for our franchise and our community. John was the first player picked in the NBA draft and the first player we were blessed to pick under our new ownership of the @WashWizards a decade ago. https://t.co/CJCdDfQXqn— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) December 3, 2020
I personally wish the best for him in his new city and franchise. Good health and good fortune to John Wall and all of Washington DC thanks you for your unabashed love of the game — and our community.— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) December 3, 2020
With the trade news now official, the Wizards have now entered a new era. We will have more news and analysis on this blockbuster trade in the days ahead.