Wizards GM when asked about Westbrook: Beal and Wall are 'one of the best backcourts in the NBA'

Mike DePrisco
·2 min read

Wizards GM asked about Westbrook, compliments Wall and Beal originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Wizards have reportedly discussed a trade with the Rockets that would include swapping John Wall for Russell Westbrook. When the rumors began to circulate, it set NBA Twitter ablaze

Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard appeared on 980 The Team's Kevin Sheehan show the morning after and was asked about Shams Charania's report. Instead of addressing a possible deal involving the two All-Star point guards, he pivoted to the backcourt he already has in Washington.

"Russell's a perennial All-Star and last year was a third-team All-NBA player," Sheppard said. "So I think over the years he's shown he's an elite player in the NBA. For me, we're trying to figure out ways to beat teams with guys like that, and I think we have that in Bradley and John. They've shown when they're healthy going at guys that they're a dynamic duo and one of the best backcourts in the NBA.

"You mentioned Russell, there's several players out there this time of year that their names always pop up and I'm sure it bothers them," he said. "But I'm sure they're used to it and life goes on."

Wall has been sidelined the last two years recovering from an Achilles injury and has long stated his excitement to return to the floor next to Beal and vice versa. Sheppard himself has also compared Wall's return to having the No. 1 pick in the draft. 

Wall and Westbrook have nearly identical contracts, are close in age and have had their dealings with the injury bug. Beal wants to see an improved roster around him heading into next season, so if Westbrook can help the team win more than Wall, it's a tough deal to ignore. 

Westbrook is coming off a solid season with the Rockets where he averaged 27.2 points seven assists and 7.9 rebounds per game. He and James Harden are now reportedly angling to move on after the organization underwent a major restructuring at the top with the departures of general manager Daryl Morey and head coach Mike D'Antoni.