The February NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the Lakers are likely going to be looking for some help. But while fans in Los Angeles are hoping for something wild to happen, many around the league do not expect them to be major players in the market. Given their lack of draft capital and the limited number of sellers, that might be accurate.
The Lakers probably would like to move a few guys off the roster, including Russell Westbrook. But the problem is his massive contract that runs through next season, as well as his recent inability to make shots.
But according to Marc Stein, there could be one team interested in trading for Westbrook. But a lot of things would have to happen in order to make a deal go through.
I have been advised that I should amend my previous characterization of the Lakers' finding a Westbrook trade from outright impossible to extremely unlikely. There is at least one team out there that would take him, league sources say, if the conditions are right. That team, surprisingly, is the Houston Rockets.
The Rockets traded Westbrook to Washington in the deal that brought them John Wall. Ironically, any deal with the Lakers would once again need to involve Wall going to Los Angeles.
Stein contends that Houston would be willing to do the deal if the Lakers attached their 2027 first-round pick in the deal. Unfortunately, Wall's contract isn't any better than Westbrook's for Los Angeles.
He is owed $47.3 million against the cap hit next season, which is slightly higher than Westbrook's deal. Wall has also struggled to stay on the court in recent years due to injury and is arguably just as streaky of a shooter as Russ.
So would a deal make sense? Not really. But if the Lakers truly want out of Westbrook's deal, they have an option.