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Report: Rockets would be interested in Russell Westbrook reunion with draft assets attached

Houston would be looking to send John Wall back to LA and accumulate draft capital.

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers
Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the game against the Indiana Pacers on January 19, 2022 at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers may be able to deal Russell Westbrook and his large contract after all. According to a report from Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets would be interested in acquiring their former point guard from the Lakers in a swap that would involve John Wall going to LA. Houston would also want draft compensation in such a trade, although the Lakers can’t trade a first-round pick until 2027 due to the Anthony Davis trade and the Stepien Rule.

Westbrook has been a polarizing figure in the NBA for a while now, but his performance and fit in LA has come into question recently. Head coach Frank Vogel benched Westbrook for a key stretch during the team’s loss to the Pacers this week, sending the rumor mill going on problems inside the team. The Lakers don’t have much room to maneuver in terms of salaries, but Westbrook and Wall both carry big enough cap numbers to make a trade potentially work. Wall has been sitting out despite being healthy, so there’s no way of knowing his conditioning level. That’s one of the bigger hurdles in a potential Westbrook-Wall deal, along with LA’s lack of strong draft assets in the short term.

The Lakers entered the season as favorites to win the West per DraftKings Sportsbook. They now sit at +650, good for fourth place behind the Warriors, Suns and Jazz.