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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.
Jamal Crawford: That was great for both teams.
Chase Hughes: Regarding Russell Westbrook and the No. 0. Other players have come in and asked to wear it and have been told ‘no’ because it was Gilbert Arenas’ number. Those players, however, were not Russell Westbrook. So, we’ll see.
Enes Kanter: Good Luck Brodie @Russell Westbrook 💪 pic.twitter.com/KJUS6LaCRS
DeMarcus Cousins: 😏 [Cousins reacts to the John Wall trade on social media.]
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.
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January 23, 2021 | 7:04 pm EST Update
Ira Winderman: Wait, Erik Spoelstra laughed during a pregame presser. He was asked if having had coached a Big 3 gave him insight on how to now slow a Big 3, he simply replied, “No.” And, yes, laughed. And with that, pregame media session ended.
Omari Sanfoka II: Dwane Casey on Saddiq Bey’s slump after a hot start: “Nothing to be alarmed about. The young man is working his behind off … there’s always going to be a leveling off period and that’s what he’s going through right now. He’ll bounce back.”
Dane Moore: Ryan Saunders said 24 to 28 minutes is a “fair range” to expect for Ricky Rubio tonight who is in his second game back from COVID protocols. Jordan McLaughlin will be backup PG. And Jaylen Nowell will be third-string if that is needed.