Russell Westbrook: Four Potential Trades

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The Russell Westbrook trade was a colossal failure for the Los Angeles Lakers. That, of course, has been well reported and remains a major factor in the utterly disappointing season for the Lakers.

Los Angeles, however, still has LeBron James and a healthy Anthony Davis next season. Putting the last two years behind, this remains a duo capable of making some noise. For this reason, the Lakers need to trade Westbrook in order to improve their roster. It’s important to keep in mind that Westbrook doesn’t bear all the blame, as the Lakers’ roster was constructed very poorly as a whole.

Russell Westbrook: Four Potential Trades

1. The Reunion

Los Angeles Lakers receive Derrick Favors and Vit Krejci.

Oklahoma City Thunder receive Russell Westbrook and a 2024 first-round pick.

Westbrook’s reputation in Oklahoma City remains intact, unlike that of Kevin Durant. Westbrook stayed longer and eventually left as the Thunder decided to go into a rebuild.

With one year left in his contract, a reunion makes sense to an extent. Oklahoma City remains home, and the team has plenty of open cap space. The Thunder do this and hope Westbrook serves as a mentor to their young guards for a season, and get a 2024 first-round pick that will be the worse one from either the Lakers or New Orleans Pelicans. Sam Presti loves his picks, as the league is aware of.

The Lakers mostly do this to rid themselves of Westbrook’s contract. Favors, however, remains a solid veteran big man who can back up both the four and the five. He’s a welcomed addition. Krejci saw time towards the end of the season with the Thunder but remains a project.

2. Russell Westbrook in the Big Apple

Los Angeles Lakers receive Julius Randle, Kemba Walker, and Miles McBride.

New York Knicks receive Russell Westbrook and a 2024 first-round pick.

New York needs a legitimate starting point guard. Westbrook may not be the answer, but he can start and it allows New York to move on from Randle’s new contract. This will also open up minutes for Obi Toppin, who shined as a starter towards the end of last season. The first-round pick is also a nice get.

The Lakers move on from a bad year in Westbrook’s contract but take on another massive contract in Randle’s new one. With that being said, Randle is in the prime of his career and was an All-Star just last season. Perhaps a return to the Lakers, and playing on an elite frontcourt, will get him to improve. Walker is also a well-respected veteran who should only provide positives for the team. Lastly, McBride is a young guard who can replace the minutes of other veterans the Lakers had on one-year deals.

3. A Fiery Offense

Los Angeles Lakers receive Gordon Hayward, Mason Plumlee, and Nick Richards.

Charlotte Hornets receive Russell Westbrook and a future second-round pick.

There have been murmurs surrounding Charlotte’s interest in Westbrook this offseason. The fit may be questionable, but the team will go after what it wants.

Westbrook would join a guard room containing the likes of LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier, so it’s likely that Westbrook serves as a backup. Perhaps this is the best role for him, as he can lead the second unit of one of the league’s top offenses. If the experiment doesn’t work out, Westbrook is off the books while Charlotte got rid of Hayward’s contract.

Hayward, if healthy, remains a great contributor. On a team with James and Davis, Hayward can surely be a strong third option. More than that, the Lakers get a solid center in Plumlee. He won’t dazzle the fans, but he’ll play strong defense and secure boards. Lastly, Richards is a young depth piece.

4. Aiding a Rebuild

Los Angeles Lakers receive Buddy Hield and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Indiana Pacers receive Russell Westbrook, Deni Avdija, Corey Kispert, and a Lakers second-round pick.

Washington Wizards receive Malcolm Brogdon.

It’s a big one, but it involves many moving parts.

Indiana is looking to rebuild, and have its primary building block in Tyrese Haliburton. In this trade, they get rid of two longer contracts. Taking on Westbrook isn’t ideal, but his contract will be expiring. Since they’re losing two talented players, they also get Avdija and Kispert in return. Avdija is a solid player and tough defender who can become a reliable starter. Kispert, of course, has all the tools to become a lights-out shooter in this league.

The Lakers acquire a former target in Hield. A point guard isn’t absolutely necessary as James can take those duties, but shooting is sorely needed. Hield quickly addresses this issue. Caldwell-Pope was a former important Laker, and he returns to fight for another ring.

Washington gets its new starting point guard in Brogdon. Assuming they bring back Bradley Beal, they’ll be looking towards a playoff run. Brogdon and Beal form a terrific backcourt, while they’ll have other offensive weapons in Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Kuzma.

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