Rockets Open To Russell Westbrook For John Wall Trade: Report

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Russell Westbrook #0 and head coach Frank Vogel
Russell Westbrook #0 and head coach Frank Vogel

Shots have been fired over in Hollywood, and the chances of Russell Westbrook not being around by the NBA trade deadline seem to be getting higher.

The 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player was benched by Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel in Wednesday's 111-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers. Westbrook was 5-for-17 from the field and failing to execute on the defensive end when he was replaced with Malik Monk.

Vogel had the management’s support in taking a hard line while coaching Westbrook, ESPN reported, citing unnamed sources. But the substitution had little effect, and the Lakers lost to the Pacers. Worse, it appears bridges have been burned, paving the way for a potential trade happening by the Feb. 10 deadline.

Given the kind of play Westbrook brings, finding a team where he fits best is tricky. The 33-year-old guard also carries a hefty $44.2 million contract and possibly another $47 million for the 2022-23 season if he exercises his player option.

However, Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the nine-time All-Star's former team, the Houston Rockets, may be open to reacquiring Westbrook.

Westbrook's previous stint with the Rockets came to an end after he was shipped to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall.

Assuming this gains ground, the player likely to be offered in exchange could be the same one Westbrook was traded for, Wall, who has an identical contract. However, the Rockets want the Lakers' 2027 first-round pick to be included in that potential deal as well, according to Stein.

Wall joining the Lakers could make sense, though it would be another gamble for the team. The 31-year-old has struggled with injuries in the past seasons so it may be another experiment that would not work out.

At this point, it is a scenario that may or may not happen. But one thing clear is that either Westbrook or Vogel could be let go soon.

Vogel is reportedly being evaluated on a game-to-game basis, and his tenure is safe for now, according to the Bleacher Report. Previously, most felt that judgment day for the Lakers coach would happen at the end of the current season.

But at the rate the Lakers are misfiring, heads could roll earlier than anticipated. Hence, a potential scenario would see both Westbrook and Vogel being kicked out of the Lakers unless the purple and gold find a way to resolve its internal issues and performance struggles.




Photo: Getty Images | Harry How

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