Everyone has a type, and the Lakers are no different. Some would think that the ideal type of point guard to put around LeBron James would be a shooter. The Lakers, though, have an obsession with placing non-shooters around him, particularly at the point guard position.
From Rajon Rondo to Dennis Schröder and, most recently, Russell Westbrook, the Lakers — perhaps with James’ blessing — have chosen to pair LeBron James with a number of non-shooters. One would think that after how badly things went with Westbrook this season, the Lakers might consider a different approach.
To be fair, obviously nothing is set in stone, but one of the newest rumors links them to another non-shooting point guard, and one that hasn’t played in well over a year, in Houston Rockets guard John Wall. It would only be an option for the Lakers if he is bought out, as reported by longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein.
Interest in Wall from the Clippers and Heat, if he can finally make his way onto the open market, has been mentioned for months. Iʼve 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.
The Lakers were linked heavily to Wall around the trade deadline in a deal that would have included Westbrook. It was a matter of swapping overpriced, underperforming players. The hangup came in the draft compensation involved and the other players that would be attached to the deal, resulting in no trade being completed or ever very seriously close.
Wall’s last game came on April 23, 2021. Since then, he’s been collecting the remaining checks left on the supermax contract that the Wizards awarded him back in 2017, waiting for the Rockets to either decide to play him or send him elsewhere. Even before he was sent home by the Rockets, Wall had a number of injury issues as well that sidelined him for a lengthy time in Washington. Since Dec. 26, 2018, Wall has played in a total of just 40 NBA games.
To say the least, the Lakers would be taking a big risk by bringing in Wall on anything other than a veteran’s minimum signing. Even then, with the Lakers needing so much from their veteran’s minimum signings, it gets harder to rationalize using one of those spots on Wall.
And if Russell Westbrook is still on the roster, it feels like a non-starter. Rostering TWO non-shooting point guards reads as an act of sabotage in 2022.
The Lakers’ interest in Wall could be dependent on a number of things, whether from Wall’s end or from the Lakers’. It’s a pairing that would have lots of questions and concerns and certainly seems far from an ideal situation.