Report: Lakers ‘unlikely’ to trade Russell Westbrook unless LeBron James deems John Wall better fit

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

It is looking more and more likely that Russell Westbrook will remain with the Los Angeles Lakers through the NBA’s trade deadline this week.

According to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, the Lakers will only trade Westbrook if LeBron James decides that Houston Rockets guard John Wall is a better fit with the team’s roster.

“The Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to trade Russell Westbrook at the deadline, sources tell B/R,” Pincus wrote. “The caveat: If LeBron James decides that fellow Klutch Sports client John Wall could be a better fit and is willing to push extremely hard for Westbrook’s exit, the Lakers might consider a deal with the Houston Rockets.”

Westbrook has struggled playing alongside James and Anthony Davis this season, and it has led to the Lakers slipping in the Western Conference standings.

Heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers hold the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference with a 26-29 record this season. Los Angeles is 4.5 games out of the No. 6 seed in the West, and it is in serious danger of landing in the league’s play-in tournament for the second straight season.

This season, Westbrook is averaging just 18.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game while shooting 43.5 percent from the field and a dismal 29.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Trading for Wall wouldn’t be an automatic fix, as the veteran guard has yet to play for the Rockets this season. The five-time All-Star appeared in 40 games for Houston in the 2020-21 season. He averaged 20.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game while shooting 40.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Injuries have hampered Wall in recent seasons, as he’s played just 72 games since the 2018-19 season.

The Lakers may need to make a move to have any shot at winning the NBA title, but unless James signs off on it, it is likely the team stands pat.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.