RUMOR: James Harden preferred to play with John Wall over Russell Westbrook
The Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets conducted a blockbuster trade on Wednesday, swapping Russell Westbrook and John Wall. In a surprising development, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that James Harden reportedly preferred having Wall over his long-time friend and 2-time teammate Russell Westbrook.
.@wojespn details the Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade:
"[James Harden] had a preference of John Wall over Westbrook." pic.twitter.com/GoAHv1QVUj
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) December 3, 2020
With the Rockets entering a new regime, the future of the Harden-Westbrook tandem was put in doubt. There were rumors that Houston could consider trading both of them, fully committing to a rebuild situation.
However, while the Rockets expressed interest in parting ways with Westbrook via trade, they remained adamant about keeping Harden. And to keep Harden content, Houston may have conversed with him to determine if he’d be content with them trading Westbrook for Wall.
After spending time together on the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier in their careers, Westbrook was traded to the Rockets before last season. Westbrook was traded to Houston in exchange for Chris Paul, allowing Westbrook to reunite with Harden.
Despite the friendship they have off of the court, they failed to show much success with each other on the floor when it mattered most. Similar to recent seasons, the Rockets fell short in the playoffs last season, prompting changes within the front office and coaching staff.
Even though Harden reportedly wanted Wall, the long-time point guard of the Wizards comes with some concerns of his own. Wall hasn’t played for over a year due to multiple injuries and is due $132 million over the next three years.
Given the situation they are in, the Rockets are doing everything they can to keep Harden in Houston. If the reports are true that Harden wanted Wall over Westbrook, his relationship with Westbrook may have hit a speed bump.