Analyzing the Houston Rockets trade of Russell Westbrook for John Wall
The Rockets lost this trade
The Rockets traded one of the worst contracts in the league for one of the worst contracts in the league plus a first-round pick. The financial implications for the Rockets are a bit curious because while the two had essentially identical contracts, Wall has a 15-percent trade kicker.
While Wall’s salary won’t increase by 15-percent he will receive a bonus worth 15-percent of his remaining contract. What’s interesting is that Westbrook also has a trade kicker built into his contract meaning this trade guaranteed that both teams would have to shell out massive bonuses to swap the players.
In the end, the Rockets got a player who is younger but comes with serious question marks surrounding his health. Due to multiple injuries, Wall has only played 73 games over the past three seasons and has an Achilles rupture on his list.
There is no guarantee that Wall will ever be the same player that he was and all the Rockets received in return for that risk was one first-round pick from a team that now seems destined for the playoffs. After everything, the Rockets gave up to get Westbrook this trade has to sting.
In the end, this was a trade done out of desperation and the Wizards likely got the better player at a relatively small cost. However, there is a chance that Wall regains his form and proves to be a better sidekick for Harden.
The Rockets are banking on a lot of if’s and they might have burned a bridge with their franchise superstar who has already asked for an out. The only certainty this move guarantees is that James Harden will lead the league in scoring for the fourth consecutive season.