John Wall, the North Carolina native who starred for one season at Kentucky before being selected first overall by the Washington Wizards in 2010, has been traded to Houston.
The Rockets acquired the five-time All-Star and a first-round pick from Washington in exchange for 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, the teams announced Wednesday night.
OFFICIAL: The Houston Rockets have acquired John Wall and a future first round pick from Washington in exchange for Russell Westbrook.
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) December 3, 2020
Wall, 30, became one of basketball’s top point guards, peaking in the 2016-17 season when he averaged 23.1 points and 10.7 assists — both career highs — and leading the Wizards to the Eastern Conference semifinals for a third time. He was named to the All-NBA Third Team.
Knee and heel injuries limited him to just 73 games the next two seasons, and Wall’s bad luck continued when surgery on his left heel led to an infection, and he then ruptured his Achilles tendon when he fell in his home. He missed all of the 2019-20 season.
Wall played his first two seasons of high school basketball at Garner Magnet High School before moving to Raleigh. He played the balance of his high school career at Word of God. His recruitment was heated, and he chose Kentucky over nearby Duke.
Wall was SEC Player of the Year and an All-American in his one season with the Wildcats. After being selected with the draft’s first pick by Washington, Wall was named to the All-Rookie First Team. He won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2014 and was on the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team in 2015.
For his career, Wall is averaging 19.0 points, 9.2 assists and 4.3 assists. He has three years and $132 million left on his contract.
Westbrook, the 2017 NBA MVP, played one season with the Rockets after 11 years in Oklahoma City. He was traded from Oklahoma City for Chris Paul, another North Carolina native, and draft picks in July 2019.
The 32-year-old is one of two players in NBA history, along with Oscar Robinson, to average a triple-double for a full season, which he did for three seasons from 2016-17 to 2018-19.