Wizards GM ‘very impressed’ with Russell Westbrook since his arrival

Russell Westbrook - Photo via Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Wizards shook up their franchise back in December, as they traded away arguably the most popular player in franchise history in John Wall to the Houston Rockets for Russell Westbrook.

The Wizards got off to a very bad start early on this season, as many people started to question the franchise’s decision to bring in the former MVP. However, Washington GM Tommy Sheppard explained to Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday that he wasn’t expecting this trade to give them instant gratification.

“I’ve been very impressed with everything Russell’s been about since he arrived,” Sheppard said. “I understand fans and the angst with trades go up and down like the stock market where you judge a trade in a day or you judge a trade in two days. Trades usually take two to three years before you can truly judge them, just like draft picks and everything else. The people that win the trade on Day 1, it usually doesn’t work out that way on Day 365 or whatever.”

Something that has really opened Sheppard’s eyes this season has been Westbrook’s leadership and how he’s bringing the best out of his teammates.

“What’s surprised me is how incredible of a leader he is,” Sheppard said. “How much he wants to facilitate and make sure Bradley is the very best player in the NBA at his position, really pushing Bradley, and he’s been a tremendous co-pilot with Bradley.”

The Wizards have won five straight games ever since they took that dreadful loss to the New York Knicks, and it’s not like those losses came against bad competition. If anything, it’s been the complete opposite, as they’ve taken down teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics.

One thing Westbrook was consistent about during their early-season struggles was his belief in his teammates and his unwillingness to give up despite how bad things were looking for the Wizards, and it’s good to see the Wizards finally getting into a groove after having to deal with all of the obstacles that came their way earlier this season.

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