Russell Westbrook and the Washington Wizards will do much better than expected says ESPN analyst Kendrick Perkins.
Appearing on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show, Perkins shined light on why the Wizards are in good hands.
“I think when you start from the top and looking at the coaches in Scott Brooks and Robert Pack,” Perkins told me on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.
“People that Russ is familiar with from Oklahoma City that he respects and that he’s going to listen to; so already those guys can hold Russ accountable. But on top of that you’re getting a healthy Russ that wants the ball in his hands not just to score, but people forget to average a triple-double, you got to be in double figures and that was assists! And he loves to make guys better and like you said, we watched him put the key in Paul George’s back and he had the best season of his career.”
Westbrook was traded to the Wizards for John Wall. Last season, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebound, seven assists and 1.6 steals per game in his first season with the Rockets.
A nine-time NBA All-Star, Westbrook was traded to the Rockets last offseason in exchange for Chris Paul. Westbrook was on the inaugural Thunder team in 2008-09 after the team moved to OKC from Seattle. He made an immediate impact as a rookie, then proceeded to become one of the most dominant players in the league — and eventually the face of the OKC franchise.
After spending eight seasons partially in the shadow of Kevin Durant, Westbrook delivered three of the most dominant seasons in NBA history, averaging a triple double each year from 2016-17 through 2018-19 and winning the MVP award in 2017 along with his second scoring title.
The trade betwen the Wizards and the Rockets reunites Wes with his ex-Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
Westbrook welcomes his new opportunity in the NBA’s Eastern Conference and reuniting with Scott Brooks is an added plus.
So is playing alongside fellow All-Star Bradley Beal. “We’re talking about the same caliber player in Bradley Beal,” Kendrick Perkins tells Heavy Live With Scoop B.
“This guy averaged 30 points this past season and you’re telling me that he’s getting a guy like Russell Westbrook and I know how Russ thinks he’s going to defer to him because he wants to prove everybody wrong that people can play with me and be successful in their individual accolades. And I’m looking at [Dāvis] Bertāns and that spacing on the floor; the kid they drafted in the lottery who can shoot the ball… I’m looking at all these pieces that the Washington Wizards have and I’m like, ‘You know what? I wouldn’t be surprised we’re looking at another Oklahoma City Thunder story that just happened this past season where they finished Top 5 in the East and they’re a team that you don’t want to see in the first round because they’re going to be hard to put out.’
The 2020-21 NBA season begins on December 22.