There’s doesn’t appear to be much momentum for a Russell Westbrook trade happening before the deadline. It’s been widely reported that the Los Angeles Lakers would like to move on from the superstar but his contract and poor play make him incredibly difficult to trade. Marc Stein recently reported that the Houston Rockets would be open to taking on Westbrook if the Lakers sent them a first-round pick and they took on John Wall.
However, Stein later reported that Los Angeles wasn’t interested in that due to the optics of the situation. It hasn’t even been a year since the Lakers willingly sent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma for Westbrook. Having to give up a first-round pick just to get off the star would be a glaring example of front office ineptitude.
While the Lakers are unlikely to make that trade, Wall is an interesting fit in Los Angeles compared to Westbrook. At this point, the former No. 1 overall draft pick and five-time All-Star would be much more willing to accept any kind of role on a team. Westbrook isn’t about to start coming off the bench or taking less of a role without making a scene.
According to some Twitter activity by Wall, he’s open to a trade. In fact, he liked a tweet that featured a video of Fox Sports’ Skip Bayless saying that the deal would help the Lakers.
Wall hasn’t played a game this season but is healthy and would be a lot more motivated to play for a championship-contending team in Los Angeles than the lowly Rockets.
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Westbrook Continuing to Struggle
The Westbrook trade has been a disaster for the Lakers. The team is the ninth seed in the Western Conference with a 24-25 record and continues to be inconsistent. With Anthony Davis returning and LeBron James injured for Thursday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, it was a great chance for Westbrook to prove his worth. He only scored 20 points with three assists in the 105-87 loss.
He continues to prove that he just isn’t a good fit on this team. If Davis gives the team 31 points and 12 rebounds, they should at least be competitive. Westbrook is no longer a superstar player and it’s obvious that the Lakers made a massive mistake by trading for him.
Should Lakers Swap Wall With Westbrook?
Similar to Westbrook, Wall is no longer a superstar. However, his career has been derailed by injuries. He hasn’t played more than 40 games in a season since the 2016-2017 season and hasn’t played a single game this season. While he’s clearly not the same player as he was when he was a perennial All-Star, he is only 31-years-old and could recapture some of the magic.
If the Lakers can convince the Rockets to simply swap Wall for Westbrook, they should absolutely make that trade. Wall is more flexible and less of a ticking time bomb. If he has to be taken out of the rotation, it’s not going to be a massive national news story. If that happens to Westbrook, is going to be a talking point all over the country.