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RUMOR: The truth about a Russell Westbrook-John Wall deal, revealed

Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Lakers, Rockets

There have been a lot of rumblings lately about a potential blockbuster deal between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets involving Russell Westbrook and John Wall. While it feels a bit farfetched, this is actually the only trade that would work for both sides because of the similarity in the two veteran’s current contracts.

Via Kelly Iko of The Athletic:

Ironically enough, the one team that could offer a clean solution to a Wall trade is the Los Angeles Lakers. Former MVP Russell Westbrook is making nearly identical money to Wall over the next two seasons. Marc Stein of Substack reported Houston’s interest in an incentive-based deal that The Athletic can confirm, but there are caveats to this. For starters, this is not a situation where Houston is interested in Westbrook. Both parties have already been down that path and are at different places respectively. The Rockets are only interested in finding a solution for Wall’s situation. Westbrook would likely never suit up for Houston in that instance. For a deal to get done, Houston would have to be enticed by an aggressive Lakers approach — one involving either a third team or suitable additional assets — to make it work. Houston would require the Lakers’ 2027 first-rounder in such a deal, sources tell The Athletic, but it’s unclear how willing the Lakers are to put that on the table.

Basically, the Rockets would have no interest in actually going down the Russell Westbrook road again. They’d strictly do it to get John Wall off their hands then ship Russ off to another team that could be involved. As Iko noted though, Houston wants draft picks but it’s unknown if LA is willing to part ways with a first-rounder.

Both Russ and Wall make around $45 million right now, while the latter isn’t even playing. It’s already well-known that LA did try to move Russell Westbrook earlier this season but because of his hefty salary, they had no luck.

This is far from ideal for both players, but the fact that it’s being discussed altogether means it potentially could happen. February 10th can’t come soon enough.