NBA rumors: Lakers’ only possible suitor in Russell Westbrook trade

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

If the Los Angeles Lakers do decide to sell Russell Westbrook on the cheap at the NBA Trade Deadline, they could have just one suitor.

With the way Westbrook is playing right now, can we blame the Lakers for listening?

Los Angeles managed to defeat the Orlando Magic on Friday night, thankfully, evening their record at 23-23. They hold the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference, which is far below where they were expected to finish at the start of the season.

Westbrook, for the most part, has been an abject disaster. Playing alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers roster looks like it was constructed in NBA 2K as a bizarre experiment, rather than by savvy basketball minds.

Rob Pelinka has some explaining to do, and he could try to fix this damn thing on the fly.

NBA Trade Rumors: Could Lakers deal Russell Westbrook?

The Lakers could trade Westbrook back to Houston, per NBA insider Marc Stein. However, the Rockets are fully invested in their rebuild with Jalen Green, so they have no intention of Westbrook playing for them:

“I’ve learned that the Rockets — while indeed holding no interest in having Westbrook play for them again — actually would be amenable to another Westbrook-for-Wall swap if the Lakers incentivized the trade with sufficient draft compensation,” Stein wrote.

Wall has been displeased with the Rockets since he arrived in Houston as part of a Westbrook swap with Washington. The Rockets never gave him much of a chance, instead opting to rebuild once James Harden was traded. Playing Wall, who could likely still contribute for a contending team, goes against the motive.

The Lakers would take on Wall, while trading away Westbrook AND some draft picks. That doesn’t sound appetizing for Los Angeles, despite Westbrook’s struggles of late.

Yikes. Can’t say we blame rival teams for staying far, far away from that.

Next. Frank Vogel had front office support to bench Russell Westbrook in crunch time. dark