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Wilson vs Westbrook, Which Team Got Stuck with The Worst Russell?

Do you remember the times when Russell Wilson and Russell Westbrook were relevant? I’m not saying they’re not anymore. If you jump into any NFL news outlet you’ll probably find pieces talking about Wilson left and right. It’s just that currently whenever somebody talks about either Wilson or Westbrook, the conversation usually revolves around how much of a flop they’ve become for their teams.

While at one point both players were deemed as pivotal cornerstones for their respective franchises, the Seahawks and Thunder, nowadays both are starting to look like a worn-out version of their past selves. Were the trades that sent Wilson to the Broncos and Westbrook to the Lakers in any way good deals?

Wilson vs Westbrook, Which Team Got Stuck with The Worst Russell?
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images/AFP

Even if comparing the NFL and NBA is a conundrum in itself, let’s break down what merits each player has to take home the award for the worst “Russell” and which team got stuck with the shortest end of the stick.

It Took Four Games for Broncos Fans to Stop Believing

When the Broncos announced that they had worked out a trade with the Seahawks to see Wilson become their franchise QB, everything was sunshine and rainbows in Denver. After handing over five drafts of NFL picks, including 2 first-round and 2 second-round picks alongside QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, and DE Shelby Harris, it was clear that the Broncos were all in for the former Seahawks star.

Given Denver’s recent history with QB flops, after Peyton Manning retired, the hopes of Wilson being the man to turn everything around were as high as ever. But after a 2-3 record, and with the team’s offense performing like they don’t understand the logistics behind scoring, all eyes have turned to Wilson.

The disillusion with Broncos fans has gotten to a point that in their last game, an OT loss against the Colts, a significant part of the always loyal Denver fanatics were seen leaving the stadium before the end of regulation. Some might say that they knew that another Wilson-led flop was coming.

Yes, ok, it can be argued that Wilson hasn’t had any time with the Broncos for judgment to be passed. But after signing a five-year, $245 million extension, in which Wilson earned $165 million guaranteed, without playing a down, maybe it is time to start calling out certain things.

His numbers have been abysmal in comparison to his other years in the league. In the five games Wilson has played, he has only managed to pass for four touchdowns with 3 interceptions. When it comes to passing yards, he managed to break the 300-yard barrier only in Week 1 when he played his former team. Lastly, his completion percentage stands at 59.4% and his QB rating is at 82.8.

When pitting his stats against prior seasons, with the way Wilson has been playing so far, he is well on his way to having his worst season as a pro, something Denver can not afford.

LA Wanted “Prime Time” Westbrook, But You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Wilson vs Westbrook, Which Team Got Stuck with The Worst Russell?
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

Russell Westbrook in his prime was one of the absolute best scorers in the NBA, there’s no denying that. We’re talking about a man who could shoot from anywhere and make magic happen most of the time. In the back of the minds of NBA fans, the doubt of what would have happened if Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden stayed in OKC will always loom.

Getting back to the present though, while Westbrook continues on his quest to try and achieve an NBA title, it seems as if his career is more leaning toward coming to an end than anything else.

After joining LeBron’s Lakers before the ‘21-22 season with the hopes of becoming LA’s new premier point guard, Westbrook went on to post up his worst scoring numbers in over 10 years. Between his lackluster performances and the way he carried himself within LA’s locker room, while it would be unfair to blame him for LA’s debacle of a season on him, it doesn’t take a genius to point out a sore spot.

For LA to land Westbrook, it sent last season’s first-round draft pick alongside Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrezl Harrell to the Wizards. Sure, the Lakers got second-round picks in 2024 and 2028, but after Westbook’s numbers last season, it’s more than clear that Washington came out as the clear winner in this trade.

So Which Team Ended Up with The Worst “Russell”?

Let’s start this off by saying that both teams dropped the ball with their respective trades. While they probably read like steals, at least for somebody in each organization, the truth is that they were anything but positive for each squad.

Again, comparing basketball and football is no easy feat whatsoever, when it comes to numbers and deals, there will always be a way to pin one against the other. While the Lakers flunked with their deal for Westbrook, especially considering they could have landed a much better player at a lower risk, the Broncos take the prize here.

The fact that they couldn’t wait to have Wilson play a snap before signing him to that massive extension is something that is just plain dumb. Wilson is a great QB, one of the best football fans have seen in the past few years, but he is not the same player he used to be.

While he might not be out of his prime just yet, he is almost at the tipping point of starting his descent. The hopes for Wilson to be Denver’s answer for their passing problems are still there, alive, but until he can prove that forking over so much cash was the right move, he will continue to be the worst “Russell” to be traded for in recent times.

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