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 22, 2021 | 9:39 pm EST Update
January 22, 2021 | 8:53 pm EST Update
Michael Singer: Michael Malone on if coaching Jokic adds pressure: “I look at it as a blessing. How many guys have the opp. to coach a great player, a high character person, on & off the court, a guy that every day when he comes to the facility, is in a good mood. There’s not many superstars.”