Proposed Blockbuster Trade Sends Lakers a 5-Time All-Star & Starter

Getty Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Time is running out for the Los Angeles Lakers to make a blockbuster deal ahead of the February 10 NBA trade deadline. One possible trade proposal that has made the rounds is a Russell Westbrook for John Wall swap. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst offered a unique spin on the deal by adding Eric Gordon into the mix as well during his discussion about possible Lakers trades with former NBA executive Bobby Marks.

“What if they gave Kendrick Nunn, Talen-Horton Tucker and Russell Westbrook and two second-round picks for John Wall and Eric Gordon?” Windhorst pondered during the January 18 The Hoop Collective podcast.

Wall has yet to play a game this season as the Rockets look to facilitate a trade for the five-time All-Star. The star point guard averaged 20.6 points, 6.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 31.7% from behind the three-point line in his 40 starts during the 2020-21 season. Marks believes the deal makes sense for the Lakers but is on the fence as to whether the Rockets would pull the trigger.

“If I were the Lakers, I would do that,” Marks responded. “So, for Houston’s perspective is that you get Horton-Tucker, two second-round picks but what could you get for Gordon in a separate deal, right? Could you get him to somewhere for a future No. 1 or something else? So like, I would probably want to separate Gordon and Wall [rather than group] together.”

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Wall May be the Only Option if the Lakers Trade Westbrook, Says Insider

There has been plenty of buzz about the Lakers potentially trading Westbrook, but it is going to be difficult for the team to find a partner willing to take on his $44.2 million salary. Westbrook is also slated to make $47 million next season in the final year of his five-year, $206 million.

Gordon would be an intriguing addition for the Lakers as the shooting guard is averaging 14.9 points and 3.3 assists while shooting a blistering 45.5% from long range this season, well above his career average of 37.2%. All this has Windhorst wondering if Wall may be the only option for the Lakers if they do want to deal Westbrook this season.

“It’s kind of like [previous 2020 trade between the Rockets and Wizards] Wall and Westbrook,” Windhorst added. “There was really no trade except for the one for each other. …And the situation has only worsened, so now they could get traded for each other again. Because again, the two teams who were involved realize that it makes more sense, this is the best option. So, it’s wild to think that that could happen.

“And just to be clear, I haven’t heard any of that at all. Like, I don’t see the other avenue if the Lakers want to do something there [Westbrook]. And of course, it’s worth pointing out that John Wall’s represented by [Klutch Sports] Rich Paul.

“But I can’t see it straight up unless Westbrook sent some sort of message that he would be willing to give back significant money so that he could get bought out and go be a free agent and go somewhere else and then you could save money. But if I was Westbrook, I wouldn’t do that.”

Woj on Lakers’ Trade Chances: ‘Improvement Is Going to Have to Come From Within’

The Lakers are a popular team to include in NBA trade machine proposals, but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski does not see general manager Rob Pelinka being able to pull off a major move by the deadline. Wojnarowski pointed to the Lakers’ “lack of tradable assets” as a major hindrance to getting a deal done.

“I think for the most part the Lakers’ improvement is going to have to come from within,” Wojnarowski detailed on the January 18 edition of NBA Today. “They just don’t have tradable assets, especially with so few sellers in the market. There are going to be other teams who can offer those select few sellers better offers than the Lakers will be able to.”