1. John Wall isn’t much of an improvement from Russell Westbrook
There are two things that the Los Angeles Lakers would potentially look for if they decided that they wanted to pivot off of Russell Westbrook. The team would either look for an on-court upgrade or the team would simply look for more financial flexibility.
The latter is the exact reason why the Wizards traded Westbrook. They weren’t winning a title with Westbrook and while Westbrook’s ceiling is much higher than any of the role players they received, they received financial flexibility and more depth.
John Wall does not offer any of those things for the Lakers. He and Westbrook have virtually identical deals with both players having player options for next season. They are not going to opt-out of their deals.
Wall also isn’t much better of an option talent-wise than Westbrook. Sure, if you look at Wall’s numbers from last season it might seem like he is the lesser of two evils but Westbrook’s numbers weren’t that bad last season either.
It is all about the fit and Wall is just as bad of a fit as Westbrook. He is a ball-dominant guard who is inefficient and does not play good defense. At least Westbrook has been mostly reliable in recent years in terms of health. Wall is one of the most injury-prone players in the league.
With Wall, there is a much better chance of him buying into his role in LA, whereas Westbrook might be destructive. That being said, that change is minimal and the Lakers would have to start over in establishing an identity if they flipped the two guards.
Plus, there is a certain price that simply is not worth paying for this potential switch.