With the Russell Westbrook experiment blowing up in their face, the Los Angeles Lakers are limited in options when it comes to retooling the roster.
Westbrook is widely expected to opt into his gargantuan $47 million player option this week, but his contract does have value as a massive expiring. The Lakers could conceivably look to deal him if they’re willing to take on long-term money, but so far no deals have come to surface.
During the past trade deadline, it seems Los Angeles flirted with the idea of trading Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for John Wall. Wall, like Westbrook, is viewed as a negative asset and a swap made sense for the Lakers who seemed eager to get off their embattled point guard’s deal.
Interest in Wall from the Clippers and Heat, if he can finally make his way onto the open market, has been mentioned for months. I’ve likewise been advised that the Lakers — resistant as they remain to trading Russell Westbrook to Houston for Wall by attaching draft capital as a sweetener for the Rockets — would consider Wall as a candidate for the roster if he is suddenly available via the buyout market.
It remains to be seen if Houston will buy out Wall and his $47 million contract, but perhaps the two sides can come to a resolution after he agreed to sit out the season as they developed the younger players on their roster. From L.A.’s perspective, should Wall become available, he makes some sense as a lead guard option though his fit wouldn’t make sense if Westbrook is still on the roster.
Perhaps the Lakers’ interest is contingent on trading Westbrook, but it won’t matter until a buyout actually materializes. In the meantime, it is best to monitor the situation and see if anything develops in the coming weeks.
Lakers unwilling to attach draft capital in potential Russell Westbrook-John Wall swap
A trade deadline deal for Wall reportedly fell apart over the Lakers’ reluctance to attach draft assets to Westbrook. As of this moment, that stance has not changed and unless it does expect the two sides to be at odds over any proposed trades.
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