The NBA is a star-driven league, and the Wizards just upgraded their star power.
Bringing in Russell Westbrook from the Rockets has more layers than an onion, some of which are good, and some questionable at best, but one thing no one can deny is that he brings a much brighter spotlight to Capital One Arena.
He's a national star.
That's no disrespect to John Wall, who himself was a five-time All-Star, but it's just the reality.
Just looking at Westbrook's on-the-court resume: Former league MVP, 9-time All-Star, two-time All-Star Game MVP, and two-time scoring champion. Put aside the inefficient way he plays or postseason struggles, because yes that's a major issue for me, Westbrook is still massively talented and a magnet for eyeballs around the world.
The whole #NBATwitter thing is real too. The league embraces stars and the power that comes with it, and Westbrook has as much influence on social media as anyone.
These numbers will easily put that into perspective for you here:
You never want to build a team on just a foundation of fame, but it doesn't hurt when building a brand either, and professional sports has become as much entertainment as anything in today's world.
Like I said, there's so many layers to this move, and most will end up being unanswered questions for a good portion of this upcoming season, so it's impossible to have a clear outlook on the results yet.
Will Westbrook and Bradley Beal work together? Well, they'll clearly need time to develop chemistry.
Will Westbrook's personality clash with the rest of the team, or will it make them more competitive? He's the closest we have to the "Mamba Mentality" in the NBA that's for sure.
What type of role does Westbrook expect here? How will fans embrace him? The list can go on and on and I'm sure you have plenty of your own questions.
One question that won't take long to answer though is his ability to boost the profile of the Wizards organization. I'd expect a ton more nationally televised games, segments on all the national talk shows, and without a doubt more of a microscope on that backcourt pairing.
If things start to gel, this can be a great thing. It will grow the Wizards' brand, give Beal some much deserved positive attention, and maybe make Washington more of a free-agent destination. You also have to win games on top of this, because you know, that always helps too.
With all that attention comes all the scrutiny though, especially when no one has any patience in a scenario like this.
If it doesn't come together, that bright spotlight will only get hotter and create some serious tension in the locker room. There's likely no middle ground here, either it works out extremely well, or it turns into an uncontrollable disaster.
The Wizards got a dose of star power now for sure, but what they do with it still has to be determined.