Should the Houston Rockets trade Russell Westbrook for John Wall?

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Houston Rockets

Russell Westbrook (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Reports have surfaced that the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards have engaged in talks to swap Russell Westbrook and John Wall. How much should the Rockets expect in return?

Rumors have surfaced of a potential deal between the Houston Rockets and the Washington Wizards that would swap Russell Westbrook for John Wall. The two organizations have been in contact but little headway has been made.

According to sources, a deal hasn’t materialized because the Rockets have asked the Wizards to surrender more assets than they are comfortable offering. The question for the Wizards is how much is too much to flip Wall for Westbrook?

The appeal, for both sides, is that Wall and Westbrook’s contracts are nearly identical. The two are both owed $131.5 million over the next three seasons with the third year being a player option for $46 million that neither seems likely to forego.

What has prevented the deal from going through is the disconnect between the two sides over how they view the other’s downside: Westbrook’s age and Wall’s injury history. The Rockets, rightly, believe that Westbrook is the superior player but at 32-years-old the Wizards are concerned with age-related decline over the course of Westbrook’s contract.

On the flip side, the Rockets view Wall’s lengthy injury history, he missed all of the 2019-20 season recovering from a torn Achilles, as a serious red flag. The Wizards and the Rockets are at a crossroads as both have valid concerns about the future production of both players, whether it’s Westbrook’s age or Wall’s lengthy injury sabbatical.

John Wall and Russell Westbrook are both considered to be on nearly untradeable contracts, which makes these trade rumors so fascinating. The question for the Rockets is should they push for a deal and how much should they ask for to make it happen?

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