John Wall is set to return to the hardwood following a lengthy injury-related absence, but it won’t be in the nation’s capital.
Wall on Wednesday was traded to the Houston Rockets in exchange for fellow star point guard Russell Westbrook. Washington also delivered a future protected first-round pick to Houston in the blockbuster deal.
The trade marked the end of a 10-year tenure in D.C. for Wall, who was selected by the Wizards with the No. 1 overall pick in 2010. Shortly after the trade was made official, Washington general manager Tommy Sheppard opened up about the decision to move the longtime franchise cornerstone.
“Having the opportunity to acquire a player of Russell?s caliber and character was something that we could not pass up when looking at both the immediate and long-term future of our team,” Sheppard said, per a press release. “With that said, the decision to part ways with John, one of the greatest players in franchise history, was extremely difficult. What he has meant to our organization and our community is immeasurable and will not be forgotten.”
Westbrook reportedly desired a return to the on-court rule he held in Oklahoma City, and he’ll likely be given that opportunity in Washington. As for Wall, he’ll now be a part of an intriguing “Big 3” of sorts in Houston alongside James Harden and former collegiate teammate DeMarcus Cousins.
It might not be long until we see Wall in Rockets uniform. Houston is scheduled to play its first of four preseason games Dec. 11.