On Wednesday night Woj dropped another bomb when he tweeted that the Houston Rockets had traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for John Wall and a first-round pick.
For Westbrook it's his third team in as many years, having moved to Houston from the Oklahoma City Thunder last summer. Unfortunately for the Rockets the combination of Russell Westbrook and James Harden didn't work as well as anticipated and left them some way short of challenging for the NBA Championship in the bubble.
Westbrook had requested a trade, declaring that he wanted to "play my game" and have a role running the floor, something he had in OKC but didn't have in Houston last year. He also cited some concerns about the culture within the team, which meant it was almost certain that a trade partner would be found.
The Rockets odds of winning the Championship moved from a best price of +3500 to +8000 after the news of the point guard's trade. That shift in odds implied that their chances went from 2.8% to just 1.2% after the trade. Houston's odds were already lower than they have been in recent years, purely because of the uncertainty around both Westbrook and James Harden's futures, with Harden also looking for a move, with the Brooklyn Nets as potential suitors.
Westbrook is now the fourth former MVP to play for three teams in three seasons, joining Derrick Rose, Shaquille O’Neal and Moses Malone, in that exclusive club. He'll be paired up with Scott Brooks in Washington, his new head coach who has always been a fan of his, and it's believed that he'll help elevate the talent around him including Bradley Beal. Most bookies believe that this will have a big impact on Washington's chances, with some books shortening their odds by two thirds from +30000 to +10000, although +30000 is still available from FOX Bet.
Los Angeles Lakers +350
Milwaukee Bucks +600
Brooklyn Nets +600
Los Angeles Clippers +700
Golden State Warriors +1200
Boston Celtics +1600
Miami Heat +2000