The Los Angeles Lakers were rumored to be discussing a Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade with the Houston Rockets. Adding to the fire of the rumors was the fact that rich paul, LeBron James’ agent, was reportedly unhappy with Lakers GM Rob Pelinka for not following through with a Westbrook-Wall deal- and even allegedly pushed the LA executive to make such a move. Paul fired back at these Lakers rumors using ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, per SBNation.
“Rich Paul called me yesterday and asked me to quote him on this story about him, and Klutch Sports, and essentially them wanting the Lakers to trade Russell Westbrook and a first-round pick to Houston for John Wall. He wanted me to state emphatically that there was absolutely, positively no truth to that whatsoever. He never did that. He did not do that. The people who wrote the story never contacted him to get any kind of perspective from him on that.
“It is an absolute lie, and he said ‘could you please do me a favor and quote me and tell the world that I specifically said that’s a damn lie. There is no truth. It never happened.’
Stephen A. Smith is saying, per Rich Paul, that there is no truth to the rumors that he pushed the Lakers to trade Russell Westbrook for John Wall. Paul went as far to say that the rumors are “an absolute lie.”
There could certainly be some truth to the fact that the Lakers, perhaps frustrated with the play of Westbrook, internally pushed for a trade of the star guard for Wall. However, if Rich Paul is to be taken at his word, he had no involvement in the Lakers’ perceived interest in a Westbrook-Wall swap.