The Los Angeles Lakers may be able to deal Russell Westbrook and his large contract after all. According to a report from Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets would be interested in acquiring their former point guard from the Lakers in a swap that would involve John Wall going to LA. Houston would also want draft compensation in such a trade, although the Lakers can’t trade a first-round pick until 2027 due to the Anthony Davis trade and the Stepien Rule.
Big scoop of the day from @TheSteinLine on Substack: The Rockets would be willing to do a Russ for Wall deal if the Lakers offered them enough draft compensation. https://t.co/N9lkNqOu31 pic.twitter.com/IGm88GVsKr— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) January 21, 2022
Westbrook has been a polarizing figure in the NBA for a while now, but his performance and fit in LA has come into question recently. Head coach Frank Vogel benched Westbrook for a key stretch during the team’s loss to the Pacers this week, sending the rumor mill going on problems inside the team. The Lakers don’t have much room to maneuver in terms of salaries, but Westbrook and Wall both carry big enough cap numbers to make a trade potentially work. Wall has been sitting out despite being healthy, so there’s no way of knowing his conditioning level. That’s one of the bigger hurdles in a potential Westbrook-Wall deal, along with LA’s lack of strong draft assets in the short term.