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Lakers would be interested in John Wall if he’s bought out

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With the 2022 NBA Draft in the rear-view mirror, the Los Angeles Lakers are about to get down to the task of improving a roster that wasn’t even able to reach the play-in tournament this season.

The team has many needs, but the most pressing issue is what to do with former perennial All-Star Russell Westbrook.

Although new head coach Darvin Ham has spoken glowingly about him, it appears the team will be aggressive in looking to trade him for a palatable package.

If the Lakers pull off such a trade, it could leave them without a true point guard, depending on the return package they receive.

According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, the Purple and Gold will look into signing point guard John Wall, a five-time All-Star if the Houston Rockets buy out his humongous contract.

Via Marc Stein’s Substack:

“Interest in Wall from the Clippers and Heat, if he can finally make his way onto the open market, has been mentioned for months. I’ve likewise been advised that the Lakers — resistant as they remain to trading Russell Westbrook to Houston for Wall by attaching draft capital as a sweetener for the Rockets — would consider Wall as a candidate for the roster if he is suddenly available via the buyout market.”

Wall is someone the Lakers were interested in trading Westbrook for during the season, but the Rockets demanded L.A.’s 2027 first-round draft pick as well, and thus it backed out.

Many Lakers fans dreamed of swapping Westbrook for Wall. However, the reality is that doing so would be merely a lateral move.

Several years ago, Wall was one of the NBA’s better point guards. However, after tearing his Achilles a few years ago, he hasn’t been the same.

During the 2020-21 campaign, his last full season to date, he averaged 20.6 points and 6.9 assists per game, but he shot just 40.4 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from 3-point range for a true shooting percentage of 50.3.

By comparison, Westbrook made 44.4 percent of his shots overall and 29.8 percent of his treys this season, giving him a true shooting percentage of 51.2.

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