33-year-old Russell Westbrook is having a nightmarish campaign with the Lakers. Through 55 games, he is seeing major dips in most statistical categories and has become the target of blame and criticism by angry Lakers fans.
Things have gotten so ugly that Westbrook is now being floated around in trade talks by the Lakers, who are reportedly convinced that he can not lead them to a title.
Ultimately, though, the future of Russ hinges on LeBron James. According to the latest intel by Bleacher Report, the Lakers could pull the trigger on a John Wall trade if James lobbies for Westbrook's exit.
The Los Angeles Lakers are unlikely to trade Russell Westbrook at the deadline, sources tell B/R. 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.
The Rockets are open to making a deal, but only if the Lakers are willing to pay to play. But top Lakers executive Rob Pelinka may be hesitant to acknowledge the Westbrook move was a failure, let alone give up the team's sparse assets to make him go away.
At this point, Westbrook-for-Wall seems unlikely. But if James, who still wields considerable influence around the league and on the Lakers front office, is willing to throw Westbrook under the bus in favor of Wall? Perhaps Pelinka will relent.
Wall, 31, has only played 40 games over the past two seasons. After suffering a torn Achilles with the Wizards, he was traded to Houston where he has been left on the shelf until his contract expires.
While he shares many similarities to Westbrook, Wall's less abrasive game could make him a better fit in a Lakers lineup that has struggled to find chemistry all season long.
For Westbrook, having LeBron green-light his exit after just 55 games would be an enormous blow to his legacy, and landing with the rebuilding Rockets once again would spell disaster for his quest to win a Championship.