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Washington Wizards Secure Their Second Best Franchise Start Following Russell Westbrook and John Wall Trades

The Washington Wizards are off to the franchise‘s second 5-1 start in the last 30 seasons.

Shrewd front office moves have set them up for success.

When the Wizards traded John Wall to the Rockets for Russell Westbrook last October it was thought that RW would be in D.C for awhile.

John Wall #1 of the Houston Rockets sits on the bench during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center on October 22, 2021 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Westbrook was ghost to L.A. after one season and a coaching change that brought Wes Unseld Jr. in as the new head coach, replacing Scott Brooks.

The hiring of Unseld Jr. also brought in a change in philosophy where he demands playing both ends of the floor and more than one guy constantly having the basketball in his hands. These are two philosophies that don’t sit well with Westbrook.

Westbrook Wanted Out

Per reports, Westbrook had been meeting privately with LeBron James and Anthony Davis about forming a big three, after both the Lakers and Wizards suffered first-round exits in the 2021 NBA playoffs.

Although the idea of moving Russ to the Lakers didn’t really sit well with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, Westbrook wasn’t a good fit long term.

With his departure, the Wizards got three really good players in return. A package of Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was too much to pass up while also alleviating themselves of RW’s big contract.

Team Owner Wasn’t Happy About Timing

Leonsis let his feelings be known a few days after the trade was completed, as he was preoccupied with getting his hockey superstar Alex Ovechkin re-signed while the Westbrook deal was being completed.

Team Looks Much Better Under Unseld Jr

With the Wizards currently sitting at 5-1 and playing some really good basketball, it looks like the move has benefitted the Wizards.

Unloading Westbrook also opened up money to bring in reserves Spencer Dinwiddie and Aaron Holiday.

For the first time in years, the Wizards now have a complete complement of pieces as far as starters and reserves go.

Read more at The Shadow League to see how this new team can impact Bradley Beal’s game.

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