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The Lakers rejected a Russell Westbrook-John Wall trade


NBA Trade Deadline day concluded yesterday, and we had one of the busiest days in recent memory. Big names like Ben Simmons, James Harden, Seth Curry, Kristaps Porzingis, Serge Ibaka, and many more switched teams and made waves around the league. But sometimes, the biggest moves are the ones you don't make. For example, the Los Angeles Lakers were rumored to be heavily shopping after their disappointing first half of the season, but in the end, Rob Pelinka stayed put and stayed out of trades. Westbrook was the main topic of conversation, and one offer was even at the table, but the Lakers decided to decline that because of their future.

Westbrook is still LA bound

When the Lakers made a move to acquire Westbrook in the offseason, a lot of people had their doubts about how this was going to work despite the star power. And boy, were they right. The fit between Russ, LeBron, and AD with the supporting cast has proved to be bad, as the Lakers are currently 9th in the West, with a 26-30 record. The all-around team performance has been poor, leading to numerous trade rumors ahead of the deadline.

Russell Westbrook has had an awful season, struggling with his efficiency and turnovers while looking entirely out of rhythm. For that reason, Russ has been made the main scapegoat of Lakers fans, which is a bit unfair considering the whole team has underperformed so far. Everyone wants Russ out of town, but his huge contract has made that virtually impossible to trade. If only there was one other hugely overpaid veteran point guard out there. Oh, wait!

Haynes confirms there was an offer

The Houston Rockets are in a similar situation with John Wall and his massive contract, and that has linked the two-point guards for some time. Rumors about the trade have been floating, and we got confirmation that an offer was made last night.

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The NBA On TNT crew was discussing all the trades that went down joined with Chris Haynes, and when the subject of the Lakers not making a move came up, Haynes had the inside scoop:

"Sources informed me that the Rockets did reach out to the Lakers to offer John Wall for Russell Westbrook, but they wanted the Lakers to include a first-round pick. The Lakers declined that. So that was the end of that discussion right there. There was not much more that the Lakers could do."

Chris Haynes, NBA On TNT

The pick that proved to be the tipping point is a 2027 first-round pick for the Lakers. A lot of people are scratching their heads at Rob Pelinka. This was the perfect chance to shake things up, get Westbrook out and take a flyer on John Wall. Sure they are similar players, and Wall hasn't been playing for some time now, but there is a feeling John could have served a better role than Russ.

Wall played in 40 games last season for Houston, averaging 20.6 ppg and 6.9 apg, proving he still has something left in the tank. I'm pretty sure Wall can help a team in a supporting role, and playing alongside LBJ and AD could have been a complete revitalization for Wall, who is eager to get back out there.

But Pelinka didn't want to give out the first-round pick five years from now. Considering how bad the Westbrook experiment has been, it's hard to fathom this decision. Honestly, this season is going to waste for the Lakers, and the management hasn't done anything to change that. Instead, they saved a pick that will be relevant when LeBron is 42 and probably retired. You have to make moves when you have a win-now team at hand, and Pelinka missed out big.

Now the Lakers will reportedly look at the buy-out market and try to make some moves there, but it's hard to see that impact any significant change about the roster. Coach Vogel will probably be gone soon, so at least something changes, but no other coach in the world can make this roster work together. These are challenging times for Lakers fans.

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