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Russell Westbrook and John Wall were cornerstones of a Dec. 2020 trade between the Rockets and Wizards.
At the time, it was a blockbuster that was thought to have shaken up the NBA. After all, Westbrook was teaming up with All-Star guard Bradley Beal in Washington. Wall, meanwhile, would team up with MVP guard James Harden.
Fast forward just over a year later, and a potential second trade involving the two doesn’t have the same buzz it once did. According to Marc Stein of The Stein Line, the Rockets have an interest in flipping Wall to the Lakers for Westbrook and “significant draft compensation.”
Due to the NBA’s Stepien rule, which prevents first-rounders from being moved in back-to-back years, the earliest first-round pick the Lakers can offer is in 2027. That makes the possibility of a Westbrook trade before the Feb. 10 Trade Deadline unlikely, per Stein.
Wall, 31, has yet to play this season, having requested a trade out of Houston. Last we saw of Wall on the hardwood was in the 2020-21 season, where he appeared in 40 games, averaging 20.6 PPG and 6.9 APG. Wall is currently in year three of a four-year, $171 million contract he signed in 2019. Wall amounts to $44 million towards the Rockets’ cap this season, despite not playing a single game.
Westbrook’s contract is hefty as well, a five-year, $206 million contract that runs through the 2022-23 season. His cap hit goes up every season and is at $44 million, like Wall, for this season.
The Lakers (23-23), who sit 7th in the Western Conference standings, haven’t seen a return on investment with Westbrook after acquiring him from Washington over the summer.
Westbrook, 33, has played the entire season, but hasn’t meshed with the Lakers and head coach Frank Vogel. Westbrook has played in 46 games, averaging 18.5 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 7.8 APG. The PPG total is his lowest since the 2009-10 season (16.1), his second in the league.
Vogel benched Westbrook for the final 3:52 of Los Angeles’ 111-104 loss to the Pacers Wednesday.
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