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NBA Rumors: Houston Rockets Are Reportedly Open To Trading For Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook

In the summer of 2019, the Houston Rockets made a ground-breaking move by reading for star guard Russell Westbrook, whose previous relationship with James Harden sparked a lot of interest from the organization.

A year later, the Rockets would ship Russ out of town after a failed campaign and complete mayhem in the locker room.

When he was traded that offseason, nobody imagined he'd ever return.

But now, according to NBA insider Marc Stein, that scenario is actually a possibility given that the Lakers are willing to pay the price.

I have been advised that I should amend my previous characterization of the Lakers' finding a Westbrook trade from outright impossible to extremely unlikely. There is at least one team out there that would take him, league sources say, if the conditions are right. That team, surprisingly, is the Houston Rockets.

I, like many around the league, was previously under the impression that the Rockets would have less than zero interest in a Westbrook reunion after Houston traded Westbrook to Washington for John Wall in December 2020 shortly before the start of last season.

I’ve since 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.

It's shocking that the Rockets would welcome back Westbrook after all that transpired two years ago, but it makes sense in the long-term.

Since Houston is in no position to compete for a title right now anyway, they can afford to take on Westbrook's contract if it means getting some draft picks in the process.

Yet sources say that the Lakers could convince Houston to take Westbrook back for Wall if they attached their 2027 first-round draft pick to the deal. The Lakers could naturally try to offer multiple second-round picks instead, but L.A.’s 2027 first-rounder is the piece rival teams naturally covet.

L.A.'s 2027 first-round pick is one of the last bargaining chips the team has left. Using it to trade Westbrook might be necessary for any deal -- but the question is, would giving it up for John Wall really be smart?

Wall shares a lot of similarities with Westbrook, but his toned-down playstyle and superior ball control could improve overall the state of the team.

Nevertheless, it's a shocking development that will surprise a lot of people. Pretty soon, we'll find out just how much the Lakers are looking to rid themselves of the struggling 9x All-Star.