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Marc Stein Says That If The Lakers Trade Russell Westbrook To The Rockets, Houston Is Expected To Immediately Enter Buyout Talks With Him

Russell Westbrook Calls Out The Media Over Double-Standard: "When I Play Bad, You Guys Ask Me A Sh*t Ton Of Questions. And Then When I Shoot The Ball Well, I Don't Hear Too Many Of Those Questions."

Russell Westbrook has been underwhelming since he joined the Los Angeles Lakers before the start of this season. The former MVP has received a lot of the blame for the Lakers underperforming, with fans and analysts naming his inefficient play and careless turnovers for the Lakers' struggles. Considering all of that, there have been rumors that the Lakers are already willing to trade Westbrook. 

One of the teams mentioned in a possible trade is the Houston Rockets, who are themselves looking to offload John Wall's contract. And according to Marc Stein, if the Lakers are willing to send them a first-round pick as a part of the deal, the Rockets would immediately enter talks to buy out the remainder of Westbrook's contract (via The Stine Line).

"Westbrook is owed $47 million next season. If the Lakers actually reached the point that they were willing to send their 2027 first-round pick to the Rockets to convince them to ship out John Wall and take Westbrook back, it is expected that Westbrook and Houston would swiftly enter buyout talks."

"Buyout discussions with a player owed more than $50 million are never easy, but it is believed Houston would happily cope with that challenge if it could get the future first-rounder from the Lakers. Reason being: The Rockets, remember, are already facing the same conundrum. Wall is owed $47.4 million next season and hasn't logged one minute this season after he balked at the limited role Houston offered him." 

Stein did also mention that such a trade is unlikely, although the Lakers could find their hand forced should this poor run of play continue. Despite LeBron James playing out of his skin this season, the Lakers have been unable to move into the automatic playoff spots in the Western Conference. The expectations to win are always high in Los Angeles, and unless the Lakers go on a run, Westbrook could find himself back in Houston and possibly even as a free agent.