We have given it plenty of time and still the team – and Westbrook – struggles.
In fact, LA is now officially out of the top eight of the Western Conference, sitting at number nine with a .500 record of 24-24.
There are many problems with the team but, of course, many fingers are pointed at Westbrook and his lacking season.
He’s been great at times, horrible at others and, all in all, many fans are wishing LA never acquired him.
But because of his monster contract, it’s very unlikely he can be traded anywhere else…right?
A new rumor says that perhaps Westbrook can be unloaded and sent back to Texas – but will LA make the moves to have it happen?
Russell To The Rockets?
We all know that most teams are not interested in trading for Westbrook, both because his contract is humungous and his output this year has been hit-or-miss, to say the least.
But there is a team that is toying with the idea of taking Westbrook: the Houston Rockets.
There is at least one team out there that would take Russell Westbrook if the conditions are right, per @TheSteinLine
“That team, surprisingly, is the Houston Rockets.” 😳
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 21, 2022
According to Marc Stein, the Rockets see acquiring Westbrook as part of a much bigger package:
“I’ve learned that the Rockets — while indeed holding no interest in having Westbrook play for them again — actually would be amenable to another Westbrook-for-Wall swap if the Lakers incentivized the trade with sufficient draft compensation.”
The only feasible way to get rid of Westbrook is to trade him to the Rockets for John Wall – but the Rockets aren’t going to stand for just getting Westbrook.
No, Houston would demand Westbrook and multiple second-round picks to take on Westbrook.
It could be even worse for LA: what if the Rockets want a first-round pick or a talented up-and-coming player like Talen Horton-Tucker?
Are the Lakers able to make that commitment?
They’d get Wall in return, but isn’t Wall about the same as Westbrook in many ways?
In the end, is this really worth it for the Lakers even if they’re struggling?
It is important to note that in Stein’s report, he says the Rockets have “no interest” in Westbrook actually playing for them again.
That means that if this trade goes down, you can expect to see Westbrook waived.
That would be a huge fall from grace for the former MVP and a wild turn of events.
Would he find another NBA team to play on?
That’s very likely, although it could take time.
If Russell Westbrook gets traded to Houston, this is how I *actually* think it would play out:
He agrees to stay away from the Rockets for the rest of the year. Rather than playing this season, he stays in LA with his family. Then they figure out a buyout in the offseason.
— Sam Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS) January 21, 2022
But if the LA-Houston deal does happen and Westbrook does head back to the Lone Star state, it would symbolize a radical change in his career’s trajectory and officially the roughest patch of his career.
Will this trade end up happening?
Maybe, maybe not – in many ways, it doesn’t make sense for the Lakers.
It would be one thing if they got someone incredible in return – nothing against Wall, but he’s not the sort of player who has been knocking socks off lately.
Houston would make out well in this case but LA would suffer.
They’re suffering now but are they willing to suffer even more just to get rid of Westbrook?
They have made their bed – they might have to lay in it for a bit longer.