Report: Rockets demanding first-round draft pick to send John Wall to Lakers

0
37
Report: Rockets demanding first-round draft pick to send John Wall to Lakers
Advertisement

Though chatter continues regarding a potential John Wall trade to Los Angeles for Russell Westbrook, the salary cap math and nba rules related to the trading of future first-round draft picks continues to make it more problematic for both the Lakers and the Houston Rockets.

Given each player’s bloated salary, a trade for the other is one of the only realistic options. And with the Lakers still languishing near .500 in a season with LeBron James turning 37 years old, there’s understandably a sense of urgency to try and maximize his dwindling prime years.

But the rebuilding Rockets have little incentive to acquire Westbrook, since they already have a non-playing agreement with Wall allowing them to easily give those minutes to younger players. No such agreement exists with Westbrook, and they have virtually identical contracts. Thus, to deviate from the status quo for another veteran guard who they are not interested in playing — Houston needs to be incentivized.

How much? Per Kelly Iko of The Athletic, it would require Los Angeles’ 2027 first-round draft pick in a two-team deal. He writes:

For a deal to get done, Houston would have to be enticed by an aggressive Lakers approach — one involving either a third team or suitable additional assets — to make it work. Houston would require the Lakers’ 2027 first-rounder in such a deal, sources tell The Athletic, but it’s unclear how willing the Lakers are to put that on the table.

Because of the Stepien rule, nba teams cannot be without a first-round pick in consecutive future drafts. The Lakers already owe their 2022 first-rounder to either New Orleans or Memphis, along with a 2024 or 2025 pick to New Orleans. Thus, the 2027 pick is all they could conceivably trade, other than perhaps a right to swap picks in other years.

It remains to be seen whether the Lakers are desperate enough to do that by this season’s Feb. 10 trade deadline, particularly considering that their franchise outlook beyond James’ playing days (he will 42 years old in 2027) is murky at best. It’s also worth noting that due to the Stepien rule, giving up their 2027 pick would make it impossible for the Lakers to trade any first-round picks for any other upgrade for the time being.

Is their current situation desperate enough for them to do that? Only they can answer that, and if they decide it is, it sounds as if Rockets general manager Rafael Stone will be ready and willing to act. But without a clear incentive, expect Houston to stay the course with its status quo.

Related

Report: Rockets open to trading John Wall for Russell Westbrook, draft compensation

Could the Rockets execute another John Wall, Russell Westbrook trade?

List

Trade deadline data: Houston Rockets player salaries for 2021-22, future seasons

http://sports.yahoo.com/

Read More

Advertisement

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here