Rockets trade Russell Westbrook to Wizards for John Wall

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E
By RADIO.COM

Two of the NBA's most recognizable point guards have reportedly been dealt for each other in a blockbuster swap.

The Houston Rocket have traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a first-round draft pick, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The deal includes protections for the draft pick for several years, added Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Both players had expressed a desire to be traded in recent weeks, reports suggested.

The Westbrook-Wall deal had been discussed previously by the teams, NBC Sports Washington's Wizards Insider Chris Miller recently confirmed on 106.7 The Fan in Washington, but they were unable to reach an agreement owing to timing considerations.

For the Rockets, the flipping of Westbrook one season after his acquisition marks a further intensification of their rebuild, following the departures of GM Daryl Morey and coach Mike D'Antoni. Their experiment in pairing Westbrook in the backcourt with James Harden proved relatively disappointing, with the team bounced in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Wall, meanwhile, was said to have told the Wizards he in fact hoped be traded, upon learning that the team had discussed a swap involving Westbrook. Wall, a Kentucky product, missed all of the 2019-20 season due to an Achilles injury.

In September, Wall was seen flashing gang signs at a party in New York City. He later apologized, but the incident "rubbed a lot of people within the organization in the wrong way," Miller said.

Additionally, star shooting guard Bradley Beal has emerged as a top-tier scoring threat and leader of the Wizards, Miller said, perhaps rendering Wall expendable.