Some fans are still figuring out the idea behind the Rockets and Wizards swapping Russell Westbrook for John Wall and a first-round pick in the NBA’s latest big trade.
Both guards have blazing speed and excel as passers. Neither is a major threat from three-point range. Westbrook is a career 30.5% long-distance shooter, and Wall is a 32.4% shooter.
Wall essentially hasn’t played in two years, but in terms of playing styles, it’s hard to see how this trade moves the needle for either team.
Well, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, James Harden might have played a role.
Maybe it makes the traded players happy, too. Reports indicate that Wall requested a trade from Washington, and Westbrook was unhappy with his role as a secondary ball-handler in Houston beside Harden. The trade allows both players to be happy again, which can’t be understated.
Wall is leaving one of his close NBA friends in Bradley Beal, but he’s also teaming up with his former college running mate, DeMarcus Cousins, who signed with Houston in free agency.
The next domino to watch is Harden and what this move does for his happiness. Reports have said that he wants to be traded, but Houston is making efforts to keep the franchise player happy.
This Rockets team has a lot of question marks. Cousins and Wall have been nonexistent for most of the last two NBA seasons, and Houston traded one of its best three-and-D weapons in Robert Covington. But if healthy, the talent can make Houston a top-tier team in the west.
As for Westbrook, he teams up with a less ball-dominant guard in Beal, which should get him back to his favorite role. A lineup featuring Beal and Davis Bertans will surround Westbrook with a level of shooters that he lacked in Oklahoma City as the primary ball-handler after Kevin Durant left.
An Alabama high school football comeback for the ages
Thompson High School, a 7A Alabama high school football team, trailed Auburn High in the state final by 28-19 with 1:18 left and somehow won, 29-28. Even more impressive? The opposing team had the football with 1:18 remaining, and Thompson didn’t score an offensive touchdown to complete the comeback.
After three shotgun kneels, Thompson High blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown. The school then recovered the onside kick and used two defensive pass-interference calls to set up the game-winning field goal.
The win denied Auburn High its first state championship. Those kids will likely be playing the “what if” game for the rest of their lives.
That ending might be worth a movie one day.
Anthony Davis locks in with Lakers
Anthony Davis has technically been a free agent since the off-season began, but his intentions on re-signing were clear. Davis has agreed to a five-year extension worth $190 million.
The timing of Davis’ extension should shed more light on the initial holdup. LeBron James agreed to a two-year extension one day earlier. Davis likely wanted the comfort of knowing James would remain around before making his deal a long one. Now, the Lakers will have one of the league’s most dominant duos for at least three more seasons.
Bud Dupree injury a major blow for Steelers
Pass rushers, quarterback and offensive tackles are widely regarded as premium positions in football. The Pittsburgh Steelers just lost one of its elite rushers, and his impact will be felt.
Bud Dupree tore his ACL in Wednesday’s win against the Ravens. He was seventh in the NFL with eight sacks and had 11 tackles for a loss.
Dupree was half of the dominant duo he formed with T.J. Watt. Losing Dupree will make it easier for offenses to double-team and game-plan around Watt.
This is Pittsburgh’s second major loss on defense. Middle linebacker Devin Bush was also lost earlier this season.
Defense has been the main key to Pittsburgh’s undefeated start, but the injuries are beginning to add up. A big key to beating a team such as the defending Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs is a pass rush making Patrick Mahomes uncomfortable. The Steelers arguably had the best pass rush in football, but that’s unlikely to be the case without Dupree.