The Los Angeles Lakers would probably love to do it again Russell Westbrook Trade now. They are a disappointing 22-23 through 45 games largely due to Westbrook’s disappointing season, and on Wednesday he was benched for the final 3:52 in the loss. Indiana Pacers. With the trade deadline approaching, the Lakers will happily listen to offers for their dwindling points defense, but few teams even have the matching salaries needed to make a workable deal. . Few are interested in getting a 33-year-old player with reduced fitness and no three-pointers.
But there is a team that is ready to buy Westbrook, according to Marc Steinand that’s the team he’s pretty familiar with: Houston Rockets. The Rockets are uniquely positioned to make a trade with Westbrook because they use a player who has been traded to Westbrook once before: John Wall. Wall and Westbrook have identical contracts. Both are earning around $44 million this season and have player options for around $47 million next season. Wall hasn’t played for Houston this season, so it’s not that Houston would lose much in swapping him for Westbrook. In essence, trading one veteran they don’t use to another.
But that doesn’t mean the Rockets will give the Lakers any favor. According to Stein, they’re looking for a hefty price tag: the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick. It was the next available first pick that the Lakers could trade due to restrictions regarding the Stepien Rule and all the firsts they gave away in Anthony Davis agree. None of the current players on Laker’s roster have contracts until 2027, meaning that option could be quite valuable. LeBron James will turn 43 in 2027 and probably get rid of NBA.
Obviously, the Lakers would prefer to give up those lesser assets. They have plenty of second-round picks that they can put on the scales, but for now, Houston is said to be looking for a better package. It is unclear which side will have more leverage. The Lakers are the team that wants to win in the short term, but the Rockets are the team that risked what essentially free the second-round picks by asking for more. After all, they’ll probably treat Westbrook like they’re treating Wall right now: like an expensive veteran who doesn’t really play for them. All things being equal, getting free options is always a priority.
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It’s unclear how the Lakers will rate Wall against Westbrook at this stage, if at all. Wall has only played 40 games in the past three seasons, and he didn’t look great when he started for Houston a year ago. He was also never a great shooter, however, at his peak, he was a player of the caliber of the All-round Defensive. Basically, the Lakers will trade for a mystery box.
Complicating matters further is how little the Lakers have to move in other deals. Pick that year 2027, along with Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn, which is basically their only trading asset at the moment. They recommended that trio to Detroit to Jerami Grant, according to Stein, but for now, that deal seems unlikely. In a perfect world, they might prefer to use that option in another trade and then do a Westbrook-for-Wall swap using less of the asset. If that is not available to them, they will have a difficult decision.
If nothing else, this shows the Lakers have options. Westbrook has been called the NBA’s hardest deal for years. He’s also been traded three times since 2019. There’s always been a deal done in the modern NBA. The Lakers just had to decide if this was worth their hefty price tag.
https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/rockets-open-to-russell-westbrook-for-john-wall-trade-but-for-a-heavy-price-per-report/ Rocket opens for Russell Westbrook to trade with John Wall, but at a hefty price, reportedly