Report: Lakers could have traded Russell Westbrook without losing 1st-round pick

Jason Simpson
3 Min Read

There were plenty of rumors surrounding Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook prior to this season’s trade deadline. Although a deal involving Westbrook always seemed unrealistic, many fans wanted to see it happen.

Ultimately, no deal went down, but it certainly seems like the Lakers explored multiple possibilities for a Westbrook trade. One rumored possibility was the idea of the Lakers sending Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for a package including John Wall.

Interestingly, a new report indicates that Houston’s asking price in a potential Westbrook-Wall deal might have been lower than what many folks thought.

“The way I heard it was it could have been done for a first-round pick, but then it was even suggested they could have done it for a pick swap,” NBA insider Ramona Shelburne said during a podcast appearance. “I don’t know the details of what that swap would be like or how that would even work. … Let’s put it this way: They would have had to incentivize Houston to do the trade with some kind of draft compensation. I think it was even less than what people have assumed. But I think the Lakers are not ready to pull the ripcord on that Russell Westbrook experiment.”

It’s an interesting development in the Westbrook era for the Lakers. It seems like the team could have parted ways with him had it desperately wanted to.

Westbrook has become the scapegoat for L.A.’s struggles this season. He hasn’t done himself many favors, as his play has been inconsistent on top of his bizarre fit on the roster.

However, the Lakers’ issues go far beyond Westbrook’s struggles. Defensively, for example, the team has been a disaster this season. L.A. is allowing 112.6 points per game.

That’s certainly an area where L.A. is going to have to improve if it wants to get back in the title conversation this season. At 26-31, the Lakers currently hold the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference.

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Jason is excited about the LeBron James era of Lakers basketball and hopes that the end result will be multiple championships.