John Hollinger: Important: Houston will receive a trade exception for a whopping $103,894. (There are theoretical examples where a team could use an exception this small, but I mean, not real ones).
The Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets have agreed to trade two disgruntled star point guards, John Wall and Russell Westbrook, in a blockbuster deal, sources told ESPN. The Wizards are sending Wall and a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick to the Rockets for Westbrook in a deal that both players wanted and had been simmering for weeks, sources said.
Discussions had been stalled since mid-November, sources said, until the two general managers, Washington's Tommy Sheppard and Houston's Rafael Stone, decided to get on the phone Tuesday afternoon. They worked out a deal within hours, sources said.
For the Wizards and Rockets, there's hope that the exchange of guards will play a role in convincing the two franchise shooting guards on each team, Washington's Bradley Beal and Houston's James Harden, to want to stay long-term with their teams. Harden has privately asked for a trade, and Beal could become a free agent in 2021.
Houston's stance on Harden has not changed, a high-ranking Rockets source told ESPN, saying the team hoped to be competitive with the perennial MVP candidate on the roster this season and does not envision a scenario in which Harden would be traded before the opener. The Rockets have let it be known that they would require a return that included a young, potential franchise cornerstone and a massive picks package in any potential deal for Harden, according to sources.
Sources said that Westbrook cited a desire to "play my game" and concerns about the Rockets' casual culture. Westbrook was a third-team All-NBA selection during his season with the Rockets, averaging 27.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game, despite getting off to a slow start while recovering from knee surgery and adapting to a new franchise following an 11-year tenure in Oklahoma City.
Bobby Marks: The swap of the super max extensions: Russell Westbrook to Washington - $41.4M, $44.2M and $47.1M (P). John Wall to Houston - $41.3M, $44.3M and $47.4M (P).
Adrian Wojnarowski: Houston has agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall and a first-round pick, sources tell ESPN.
Shams Charania: Source confirms: Houston traded Russell Westbrook to the Wizards for John Wall and a 2023 protected first-round pick.
Shams Charania: As Rockets/Wizards talks on Russell Westbrook-for-John Wall stall, Wall has made it clear he wants trade out of Washington to happen, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
A source confirmed that the Rockets and Washington Wizards have discussed a Westbrook-for-John Wall deal, as first reported by The Athletic, but Houston wants assets in addition to Wall, a former All-Star point guard who is coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Shams Charania: The Rockets and Wizards have discussed a deal centered on Russell Westbrook for John Wall, sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. No traction yet, Rockets are seeking more assets.
January 23, 2021 | 6:16 am EST Update
After a 125-113 loss to the Cavaliers on Friday night, the Brooklyn Nets leave their road trip to Cleveland 0-2 and have a slew of defensive breakdowns to review in their next film session. “This was two humbling losses,” Nets point guard Kyrie Irving said after Friday’s game.
“We just need to find a way to play harder,” Nash said. “Dig deeper. We are not a defensive roster. We have to take more pride, contest more shots, fight, scrap, claw, and that’s what I think is missing as much as anything schematic that we’re breaking down.” Nash added: “I think the bigger message is that just showing up to the gym is not good enough.”
“We’ll try to play 10 guys at least, share the minutes around,” coach Steve Nash said. “Obviously, like I said before last game, it’s hard to contain [minutes] sometimes when you’re in close games. But we’ll do our best, and also try to lean on developing a second unit. “There’s a couple positives to trying to play more guys, go deeper in the rotation, limit or share or spread around the minutes of our big three; Kyrie [Irving] and James. We’ll try to be as cautious as possible. But you know my take on that. Whenever you’re trying to be cautious, it always ends up being impossible.”
StatMuse: The Cavs have the worst offensive rating in the NBA. They had failed to score 100 points in 9 straight games. They just scored 147 (113 in regulation) and 125 on the Nets in back-to-back games. pic.twitter.com/VQ25SxKXPg
Malika Andrews: The Nets have allowed 134 points in the paint over their last 2 games (both against Cleveland). That is their most allowed in any 2-game span over the last 25 seasons. (64 in Wednesday’s game, 70 tonight), per @ESPNStatsInfo.
Jon Krawczynski: Ricky Rubio says the Wolves need a team meeting. “I don’t think we can have more than a 10-minute meeting, but we need like a three-hour meeting. But after talking, we gotta execute the words that we have, or should have.”
Dane Moore: Ricky Rubio on what needs to change for the Timberwolves: “We gotta start with everybody having a clean house. I don’t think anybody on this team can say, ‘I’m good, I’m doing the right thing’. I don’t think anybody can say that.”