The NBA season is coming at warp speed, with less than a month til tip-off, but that hasn’t stopped teams from making big moves, and the latest might be the biggest of all.
The Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets agreed on Thursday to a blockbuster point guard swap, sending long-time Wizards PG John Wall to Houston and the now well-traveled Russell Westbrook to Washington.
The trade had been rumored for a few weeks, but many around the league were skeptical that it made sense for either team and ultimately didn’t except it to come to fruition. However the two franchises, each seeking a reset button, went through with it, and will now get to see if it’s the spark their squad needs.
Paul Pierce, who played with Wall in Washington, is skeptical.
“It’s always going to be [a question of] who you pair with James Harden, because of his style of play. The way Harden’s style of play is, the way it contrasts with other guys is just so interesting because sometimes you just don’t think it matches. John Wall is about as pure a point guard as you have in the league, and he needs the ball. We all know Harden’s usage rate on the ball, that’s made him an MVP, and the player he is today. So it will be interesting to see that dynamic. Because I think one of them has to change.”
Watch Paul talk about his former teammate, and why he thinks he’ll be a smarter player after his long achilles injury layoff, below.
As for the other side of the trade, pairing Russell Westbrook with another of Paul’s former teammates in D.C., Bradley Beal, is a bold move by the Wizards as they try to convince Beal that his decision to sign an extension there was a wise one.
Paul thinks we should hedge when deciding what makes the Wizards successful going forward, because the two players should put up big numbers, but it might not equate to instant contention.
“These two guys are great, they’re both going to get stats, they’re going to average 20 points per game, so I guess the question to ask is what makes a great ‘fit,’ he said. “Are they going to win a lot of games?”