Report: In Wall-Westbrook trade talks, Rockets were willing to accept 2027 swap from Lakers

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In the weeks leading up to the Feb. 10 trade deadline for the 2021-22 season, reports emerged that the Houston Rockets were demanding a future first-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in any trade talks involving high-salaried veterans John Wall and Russell Westbrook.

But in the final days, it appears that Houston lowered its demands — and the Lakers still weren’t interested, per ESPN’s Zach Lowe. Instead, Los Angeles stayed the course with Westbrook, whose fit has come under intense scrutiny in an underwhelming season for the Lakers (27-31).

In his latest The Lowe Post podcast, Lowe said:

I’ve also heard that the Rockets floated the idea of a 2027 pick swap with the Lakers, instead of outright trading for the Lakers’ pick. Those discussions never got far enough for anything firm to be on the table, but the idea of the swap was out there, and the Lakers did not seem much interested in doing that, according to my sources.

In theory, Wall-Westbrook trade talks could be revisited in the 2022 offseason, since both guards are under contract for 2022-23, as well.

But if Los Angeles wasn’t interested in February, even at a lower price point than first reported, it would seem to make such a deal less likely — unless LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and their agency representation at Klutch Sports (which also represents Wall) decide to get more aggressively involved in an attempt to force the Lakers’ hand.

For the time being, Wall remains on Houston’s roster but is still not playing, with the rebuilding Rockets (15-43) choosing to prioritize the development of 21-year-old Kevin Porter Jr. as the primary point guard.

There have been no reports of a potential contract buyout between the Rockets and Wall before this season’s effective deadline of March 1, which is only days away. Thus, the likely outcome is for for the standoff to linger into the 2022 offseason, with the team hoping that more trade options could open up once Wall is in the final year of his contract.

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