The Los Angeles Lakers rumors are starting to pick up the closer and closer we get to the NBA trade deadline. A lot of the Lakers rumors at this point in the year involve Russell Westbrook, as the Lakers would be much better off without Westbrook.
The team has reportedly discussed the possibility of trading Westbrook in the past and thus far has not had any suitors. Quite frankly, there are only two potential packages that could happen for Westbrook. One is a salary dump with a bad team like the Orlando Magic (this is just speculation, nothing has yet been reported) and the other is a second Russell Westbrook for John Wall flip.
Wall is on the exact same max contract extension as Westbrook and that is the main reason why he has been connected to Westbrook in a trade. Up until now, this was merely speculation because of the two contracts and the possibility of the trade actually happening. However, that has now changed.
Lakers rumors: A John Wall trade is now on the table.
NBA insider Marc Stein reported on his Substack that the Houston Rockets would be willing to do a John Wall-Russell Westbrook flip if the Lakers included enough draft capital in the package. While some might think that the Lakers can package multiple second-round picks, that is unlikely.
The Rockets would most likely ask for the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick in this trade. Wall is not playing for the Rockets currently and Westbrook likely would not play for the team either. The Lakers would just be sending a draft pick for the Rockets’ troubles, as they would be the team that wants to make this trade, in theory.
While it is now possible with the Rockets being open to the idea, the Lakers should stay far away from this trade. Westbrook has been an awful fit on the Lakers but Wall has not played at all this season and would be just as bad of a fit.
Wall is very similar to Westbrook. He is a ball-dominant guard who cannot shoot and does most of his scoring near the rim. Neither player plays good defense and both are the most overpaid players in the league. Wall is the exact same player mold as Westbrook but he is not as athletic.
This would be compounding the issue and just making it worse. If Wall was on an expiring deal then the Lakers should legitimately think about it just to get off of the contract. But he isn’t. Wall has the same $47 million cap hit net season and the Lakers would be in the exact same situation.
At the very best the Lakers would ever-so-slightly improve. Would it raise the team’s championship ceiling? Not at all. Most likely, it would be a completely lateral move by the Lakers that would cost a future first-round pick.
For a team that already does not have a lot of young talent or future draft picks, this would be roster malpractice.