The Jump blasts Rockets owner for thinking team got better this offseason

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ESPN's The Jump blasts Rockets owner for thinking team got better originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Houston Rockets owner Tillman Fertitta claimed his team has "done nothing but gotten better" since trading for John Wall and a protected first-round pick this offseason in a recent interview with CNBC. 

The crew of ESPN's "The Jump" were, like many, surprised by Fertitta's comment. 

"When you think about Russell Westbrook, an All-NBA player who you gave up eight million first-round picks to get, a year later for a guy who hasn't played in two years and you got one first-round pick for that in compensation, there's no way you can say that you got better," panelist Amin Elhassan said. "Even if John Wall is the John Wall that we remember from two years ago, he's still not as good as Russell Westbrook right now."

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Though Elhassan gave Fertitta credit for providing good "cleanup talk" when saying he knows Harden wants a championship and hopes that can happen for Fertitta's Rockets, saying his side won that trade wasn't going to go unnoticed. 

"But to say this team got better, either you're delusional, or you're just really bad at lying. Either way that doesn't help you," Elhassan said.

"When I saw those comments I was a little shocked because it seems like a smokescreen...When there's smoke, there's fire," co-panelist Chiney Ogwumike said. "And it seems like the Rockets are on fire in not the best way." 

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Westbrook's track record, though lacking postseason success, has an MVP, nine All-Star appearances (twice the All-Star game MVP), nine-time All-NBA, and prior to last season he either led the league in scoring or points. Oh yeah, he averaged a triple-double for three-straight seasons with the Thunder before taking a backseat to James Harden in Houston. 

Wall, on the other hand, is a five-time All-Star and has made an All-NBA team just once. Westbrook is almost certainly an upgrade statistically speaking, but perhaps wasn't as good a fit with Harden in Houston as Wall could be according to the Rockets owner. 

A Houston native and power forward for the LA Sparks of the WNBA, Ogwumike also said she knows what it's like to want to prove herself coming back from injury and is rooting for Wall to do the same with his new team.

"I think he will have that motivation. And really, given what he's gone through recently, a fresh start is good for him," Ogwumike said, who also remarked Harden should have more of a voice in future big decisions like this. "It is frustrating to witness (for Houston), but I do think John Wall provides value in the NBA."