The Indiana Pacers had their playoff hopes derailed at the hands of the Washington Wizards back in May.
In a winner take all, the Wizards came away victorious and advanced to the NBA Playoffs, while the Indiana Pacers were sent home, and later fired their head coach Nate Bjorkgren.
On Thursday night, during the NBA Draft, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the the Washington Wizards traded their star point guard Russell Westbrook to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for a package of Kyle Kuzma and others.
The full trade details can be seen in a Tweet that is embedded below from Charania.
Since the Wizards were the team to knock the Pacers out of the playoffs, does this trade make the Wizards the same, better or worse?
Westbrook torched the Pacers all season long averaging 27.3 points, 18.0 rebounds and 20.0 assists against the Pacers via (StatMuse).
However, the case could also be made the Wizards as a whole could be a more complete team with Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell surrounding All-Star Bradley Beal (who was second to only Steph Curry at 31.3 PPG).
They also missed Thomas Bryant the former Indiana Hoosier for most of the season (only played ten games due to injury).
Therefore, there is good reason to believe the Wizards will be more complete next year without as much ball domination from only two players.
However, Westbrook averaged a triple-double last season, and was still the best player on the team, so it is likely they will have a worse record and be a worse team.
The Pacers also get Myles Turner and T.J. Warren back from injury, and a full season of Caris LeVert.
This trade likely makes the Wizards several games worse than the Pacers next season.