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Sport: Rockets open to Russell Westbrook for John Wall trade, but for a heavy price, per report

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The Houston Rockets would be interested in trading point guard John Wall for Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook if the deal was "incentivized," according to longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein (h/t RealGM). More specifically, Stein reported the Rockets would look for "sufficient draft Washington dealt Westbrook to the Lakers last July. He has struggled in his first year in L.A., posting a career-low 15.2 player efficiency rating, per Basketball Reference. Wall and the rebuilding Rockets agreed that he would not play for Houston this season as the team worked on finding him a new home

Russell Westbrook requested a trade from the Rockets . The Washington Wizards have acquired former NBA MVP and nine-time All-Star Russell Westbrook from the Houston Rockets in exchange for John Wall and a future lottery-protected first round pick. “Having the opportunity to acquire a player of Russell ’s caliber and character was something that we could not pass up when looking at both the immediate and long-term future of our team,” said Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard.

The Los Angeles Lakers would probably love a do-over on the Russell Westbrook trade right about now. They are a disappointing 22-23 through 45 games due in large part to Westbrook's disappointing season, and on Wednesday, he was benched for the final 3:52 of their loss to the Indiana Pacers. With the trade deadline approaching, the Lakers would happily listen to offers for their declining point guard, but very few teams even have the necessary matching salary to make a deal feasible. Fewer would be interested in acquiring a 33-year-old with declining athleticism and no 3-point shot.

  Rockets open to Russell Westbrook for John Wall trade, but for a heavy price, per report © Provided by CBS Sports

But there is one team that is open to acquiring Westbrook, according to Marc Stein, and it's a team he's pretty familiar with: the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are uniquely positioned to make a Westbrook trade because they employ a player that was already traded for Westbrook once before: John Wall. Wall and Westbrook have identical contracts. Both are making roughly $44 million this season and have player options for roughly $47 million next season. Wall hasn't played at all for Houston this season, so it's not as though Houston would be losing much in swapping him for Westbrook. It would, in essence, boil down to trading one veteran they aren't using for another.

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Trading Russell Westbrook for John Wall both makes no sense and all the sense at the same time. It's a strange trade because of the similarities between the two players stylistically, with Russ obviously being more accomplished, but that also allows it to be a fairly simple swap. It's essentially the Spider-Man pointing meme with a protected first round pick mixed in. For Houston, I understand seeing what Wall has given how things are sort of collapsing. And Westbrook should be a solid fit in Washington next to Bradley Beal and on a team that can spread the floor and compete for playoff positioning in the

Houston has agreed to trade Russell Westbrook to Washington for John Wall and a first-round draft pick. Westbrook and Wizards coach Scott Brooks have a long history, spending seven years as player and coach together in Oklahoma City. Westbrook 's partnership with Harden in Houston lasted only one season after the recent MVPs played leading roles in orchestrating a 2019 summer trade that sent Chris Paul to Oklahoma City along with two first-round picks and two first-round swap rights in exchange for Westbrook .

But that doesn't mean the Rockets are going to do the Lakers any favors. According to Stein, they are seeking a hefty price: the Lakers' 2027 first-round pick. That is the next available first-round pick the Lakers can trade due to restrictions involving the Stepien Rule and all of the first-rounders they gave away in the Anthony Davis deal. No current player on the Laker roster is under contract until 2027, meaning that pick could potentially be quite valuable. LeBron James will turn 43 in 2027 and will presumably be out of the NBA.

The Lakers would, obviously, prefer to give up lesser assets. They have multiple second-round picks they can put on the table, but for now, Houston is reportedly seeking a better package. It isn't fully clear which side would have more leverage. The Lakers are the team desperate to win in the short term, but the Rockets are the team risking what essentially amounts to free second-round picks by demanding more. After all, they presumably would treat Westbrook as they are treating Wall right now: like an expensive veteran not actually playing for them. All things being equal, getting free picks is always preferable.

Report: Russell Wilson Seeking to Explore Possible Options This Offseason

  Report: Russell Wilson Seeking to Explore Possible Options This Offseason Wilson has reportedly not demanded a traded and it is unknown if he will. View the original article to see embedded media.Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wants to explore his options to see what other team possibilities might be available this offseason, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.Per NFL Network, Wilson has not demanded a traded However, those close to Wilson told NFL Network he wants to investigate other destinations to see if those would put him in a better position to win a Super Bowl.

The Houston Rockets are trading Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for John Wall and a 2023 protected first-round pick, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. If the plan is indeed to trade Harden eventually, regardless of return, Wall probably makes more sense for them than Westbrook for a simple reason. The Rockets have a very short window to be bad and rebuild, and Wall is almost certainly going to be a worse player over the next several seasons than Westbrook .

John Wall will soon be returning from a nearly two years-long absence due to injury and when he does it may not be in a Wizards uniform. According to Shams Charania of the Athletic, the Wizards are discussing a trade with the Rockets that would include sending Wall to Houston for former MVP Russell The Rockets would be signaling a true rebuild and, one could imagine, be getting some draft picks in return. Meanwhile, the Wizards would be pairing Westbrook with Bradley Beal and take a big step forward towards contention. Westbrook is now 32 years old, so two years older than Wall , but

It isn't clear how much the Lakers would value Wall over Westbrook at this stage, if at all. Wall has played just 40 games over the past three seasons, and he didn't look great when he took the court for Houston a year ago. He was never a great shooter either, though, at his peak, he was an All-Defense-caliber player at guard. The Lakers would essentially be trading for a mystery box.

Further complicating matters is how little the Lakers have to move in other deals. That 2027 pick, along with Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn, are essentially their only trade assets at the moment. They have offered that trio to Detroit for Jerami Grant, according to Stein, but for now, that deal appears unlikely. In a perfect world, they would probably prefer to use that pick in another deal and then make the Westbrook-for-Wall swap using lesser assets. If that isn't available to them, they'll have a difficult decision to make.

If nothing else, this indicates that the Lakers have options. Westbrook has been called the NBA's most untradeable contract for years. He's also been traded three times since 2019. There's always a deal to be made in the modern NBA. The Lakers just have to decide if this one is worth the heavy price it would take.

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