KEY POINTS

  • Westbrook will be reuniting with former coach Scott Brooks in Washington
  • Wall may help the Rockets convince Harden to stay
  • Harden's move to the Nets is made up per Durant

Russell Westbrook and John Wall are trading places after the Houston Rocket and Washington Wizards agreed to a deal.

This development puts to rest weeks of speculations about the future of the two All-Star guards.

The Wizards will send a lottery-protected 2023 first-round pick to the Rockets as part of the Wall-Westbrook trade, ESPN reported.

But it appears the pick is not limited to 2023. If not conveyed, it has a succession of protections that include picks Nos. 1-12 in 2024, picks 1-10 in 2025, and picks 1-8 in 2026.

After that period, it will become a second-round pick in 2026 and 2027 according to sources.

The deal finally pushed through when the general managers of the two clubs worked on an agreement. Per sources, the trade was sealed within hours.

Now, it will be interesting how the Rockets and Wizards will improve starting the 2020-21 season. Also, the focus will be on the resident stars of each team–James Harden and Bradley Beal.

Like Westbrook, Harden is believed to be wanting out. After turning down an offer that would have made the eight-time All-Star the first player to earn $50 million per season, word broke out that he was headed to the Brooklyn Nets.

However, Kevin Durant came forward saying that no discussions between him and Harden regarding a move to Brooklyn were ever made.

Although he heard about the rumor, Durant said in a talk with media (via Marc Spears) that these were all made up.

For Westbrook, the move reunites him with former coach Scott Brooks. Both spent seven years together with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The 55-year-old mentor is expected to put nine-time All-Star to good use with the Wizards and make a deeper run in the NBA playoffs.

As for the Rockets, it will be interesting how Wall factors into their plans. Though he has not been playing for long, it will be interesting if he and Harden will ever get the chance to play side-by-side.

If Harden leaves, the Rockets are expected to shift to rebuild mode–depending on who they get in exchange for the 2018 NBA Most Valuable Player.

The Rockets hope to remain competitive this coming season and do not envision Harden leaving before the NBA season opens on Dec. 22, Tim McMahon of ESPN reported.

James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets controls the ball defended by John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets controls the ball defended by John Wall #2 of the Washington Wizards Photo: Getty Images | Tim Warner