Analyzing the Houston Rockets trade of Russell Westbrook for John Wall

Russell Westbrook (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
John Wall of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Wall should fit well next to Harden

In many respects, Wall is a far more natural fit to play alongside James Harden than Westbrook ever was. Harden is the game’s best scorer and benefits more playing next to a player that can set him up and space the floor.

Wall is a fantastic and willing passer which should suit Harden’s ball-dominant ways, but he is also a far better shooter from 3-point range than Westbrook. For Wall’s career, he has shot 32.4-percent from 3-point range compared to Westbrook’s 30.5-percent career mark.

However, Wall’s 3-point shooting numbers sell him short due to the type of 3-pointers he was taking while helming the Wizards’ offense. In 2018-19 Wall hit 37.3-percent of his catch and shoot threes, which means he’ll be able to space the floor when Harden decides to cook.

The Rockets last season were forced to completely reimagine their roster to compensate for Westbrook’s lack of outside shooting. Wall won’t necessitate such dramatic changes and should be able to fit into a five-out offense and a classic pick and roll game.

The biggest question is how will Harden respond to Westbrook being swapped for Wall? The two were teammates and good friends while with the OKC Thunder and it has been suggested that Harden was the reason the Rockets pushed to bring Westbrook in the first place.

There is a real chance that this move could strain Harden’s already uneasy relationship with management even more. Wall might make more sense on the court next to Harden but that could all become moot if Harden decides he has had enough.

Next: How did the Rockets do?