5 Brutal Russell Westbrook Trades the LA Lakers Really Need to Consider News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors

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    NBA training camps begin next month, and Russell Westbrook is still on the Los Angeles Lakers.

    The new head coach Darwin Hamm has said all the right things About how the Lakers stars will get the most out of Westbrook Committed To make it work and one year of experience should theoretically lead to better results, right?

    No matter what those in and around the organization may say, there is no way the Lakers will start the 2022-23 season with the 33-year-old on the roster.

    Transferring Westbrook and his $47.1 million contract should be expiring, even if it means future first-round selections and/or the addition of some younger talent to the roster.

    These Lakers are nowhere close to competing for a title, as this roster needs more shooting, defense and depth around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

    Good News? There are a handful of teams out there that could use a financial reset, the one Westbrook’s massive elimination pay would provide. Getting back draft compensation will also help improve future resilience for those franchises.

    All of these trades will involve the Lakers leaving at least one future first round pick, something the franchise has been extremely hesitant to do. With James turning 38 in December and being able to leave as a free agent the following summer, a message should be sent that Los Angeles will always do what is needed to win as long as he is still on the roster. Is.

    Each of the following trades was designed with the expectation that the franchise acquiring Westbrook would buy it or potentially switch it to another trade in 2022-23 rather than use it in court. Thus, the primary goal of these trades is to improve each team’s outlook for 2023-24 and beyond.

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    Get the Los Angeles Lakers: SF Gordon Hayward, C Mason Plumley

    Get the Charlotte Hornet: PG Russell Westbrook, 2027 first round pick (unprotected), 2023 second round pick

    Why do Hornets say yes?

    Hayward has not been healthy since coming to Charlotte, playing 44 and 49 games in each of his two seasons.

    He is still owed $61.6 million over the next two years, and swapping Hayward and Plumley for Westbrook will open an additional $31.5 million in cap space next season, while LaMelo Ball is still on his rookie deal.

    Plumley is on an expired contract and will almost certainly not be re-signed after the Hornets selected centers (Mark Williams and Kai Jones) in the first round of each of the last two drafts.

    why do the lakers say yes

    Hayward is a perfect fit on the wing for the Lakers, as he can play on or off the ball and can be a secondary playmaker next to LeBron James. He has also made 40.2 percent of his three-pointers in the last two seasons.

    Injury concerns are real, which is why the Lakers sacrifice only one of their futures here. With two years left on his contract, Los Angeles should be able to reduce his salary next season if necessary.

    Plumley is a solid starter that will help put Anthony Davis in the forward power and is an extremely underrated passer who should be able to cut James to the basket a few times in a game.

    New-look Lakers Lineup: PG Kendrick Nunn, SG Gordon Hayward, SF LeBron James, PF Anthony Davis, C Mason Plumley

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Get the Los Angeles Lakers: SG Tim Hardaway Jr., PF Davis Burtons, SF Reggie Bullock

    Get the Dallas Mavericks: PG Russell Westbrook, SG Austin Reeves, 2027 and 2029 first round picks (unprotected)

    Why say yes?

    The Mavericks, even after letting Jalen Brunson run for nothing this off-season, still have $14.6 million on the luxury-tax line. His bloated cap sheet role is filled with players who are being paid more than their real worth, not to mention newly acquired big man Christian Wood, who will need a new contract next summer.

    The pairing Dallas’s tight financial situation and the loss of Brunson with teams like the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets possibly coming back to full health, and the Mavs – the No. 4 seed and a conference final last season – could be in danger of being knocked down. Western Conference Standings.

    Losing Hardaway, Burtons, and Bullock could hurt the Mavs’ chances of competing for a title in 2023, but it also opens up $45.4 million in cap space next summer, meaning Dallas has a better chance than Doncic’s. There will be room to sign a max-level free agent to pair with. ,

    The Mavs first choose Future to trade gunpowder and recruit a young player into the rotation at Reeves to help make up for Hardaway’s losses. A core of Doncic, Wood, Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finn-Smith, Jvale McGee, Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell is still good and now has a better long-term outlook.

    Swapping three players for two (and then possibly buying out Westbrook) would open up an additional pair of roster spots for free agents to add or be aggressive in the buyout market later in the season.

    why do the lakers say yes

    It’s a nice influx of talent for the Lakers, even though Burton’s contract (three-year, $49 million with an early termination option) is pretty brutal.

    Hardaway is a 6’5″ shooting guard who averages 15.7 points and has shot three to 38.1 percent of his last three seasons. Bullock is the perfect 3-and-D wing this Lakers team desperately needs, and The Burtons may be one of the NBA’s best floor-spacers when it comes to health.

    Reeves give and two pricks of the first round are puny, but these are ideal-fitting pieces to plug in for LA.

    New-look Lakers Lineup: PG Kendrick Nunn, SG Tim Hardaway Jr., SF Reggie Bullock, PF LeBron James, C Anthony Davis

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    Michael Hickey / Getty Images

    Get the Los Angeles Lakers: C Miles Turner, SG Buddy Heald, PG TJ McConnell

    Indiana Pacers receive: PG Russell Westbrook, SG Austin Reeves, 2027 and 2029 first round picks (unprotected)

    why the pacers say yes

    According to The Athletics, these two teams have already discussed a similar deal with Turner and Heald heading to Los Angeles, who were asked by the Pacers for two first-round picks. bob kravitz,

    If Indiana wants to secure the 2027 and 2029 first rounders from Los Angeles and clear some extra cap space, McConnell should also be included in the deal.

    The trade would open up an additional $28 million in cap space for the Pacers next summer and make Daniel Theis the highest-paid player on the roster at just $9.1 million. That’s an incredible amount of financial flexibility for a team that already offers some young core pieces and will likely get a pair of additional first-rounders to use in the future.

    why do the lakers say yes

    This is probably the best return for Westbrook of the overall talent the Lakers have to offer, even if it means giving up on both deserving futures first.

    Heald averaged 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists after his trade in Indiana last season and was a 39.8 percent shooter’s lifetime in three.

    Turner would give Los Angeles the best defensive frontcourt in all basketball next to Anthony Davis, and his three-point shooting ability keeps everyone off the offense.

    McConnell with his passing and defensive ability is the perfect backup point guard, someone who can take offense when LeBron James needs relief.

    New-look Lakers Lineup: PG Kendrick Nunn, SG Buddy Heald, SF LeBron James, PF Anthony Davis, C Miles Turner

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    Sarah Steer/Getty Images

    Get the Los Angeles Lakers: PF Julius Randall, g/f Evan Fournier

    Get the New York Knicks: PG Russell Westbrook, 2027 first-round pick (top-5 protected)

    why nix say yes

    According to an NBA insider mark steinThe Knicks will “explore scenarios to take away Julius Randall” if they can get Donovan Mitchell in a trade, with Westbrook’s termination deal looking like a prime option with which to do so.

    Why stop there though?

    Fournier is still owed $36.9 million over the next two years, with a $19 million team option in 2024-25. If the Knicks were to acquire Mitchell and possibly start small forward RJ Barrett, Fournier becomes a valuable backup in New York.

    Relocating Randall and Fournier to Westbrook would create $44.6 million in cap relief in 2023. If a trade really goes down for Mitchell, he’ll have a chance to recruit another star in New York to join a corps with Barrett, Jalen Brunson, Michelle Robinson, and more. other.

    It could also turn into a three-team deal, with the Knicks previously helping the Lakers acquire Mitchell from the future.

    why do the lakers say yes

    Randall and Fournier are paying more, but can still make quality starts in the NBA.

    Randall is just a year away from winning Most Improved Player, shooting 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 41.1 percent off three, while Fournier (14.1 points on 38.9 percent from the last three seasons) was taken off the floor-spacer. Must be successful as a pass. From LeBron James.

    Looking at the balance on each of their contracts, the Lakers only sacrifice 2027 first and get 2029 to choose from.

    Randall might not necessarily be the best fit to return to LA with this roster, but he’s arguably the best the Lakers could really get in exchange for Westbrook.

    New-look Lakers Lineup: PG Kendrick Nunn, SG Evan Fournier, SF LeBron James, PF Julius Randall, C Anthony Davis

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    Chris Ellis / NBAE via Getty Images

    Get the Los Angeles Lakers: f Doug McDermott, g/f Josh Richardson;

    Get the San Antonio Spurs: PG Russell Westbrook, 2027 first round pick (unprotected), 2023 second round pick, 2025 second round pick

    Why do Spurs say yes?

    San Antonio is clearly rebuilding after the Dejounte Murray trade. With this deal, it could collect three additional draft picks and increase its chances in the projected No. 1 selection Victor Vembanyama.

    Swapping Westbrook’s expiring deal for McDermott helps create an additional $13.8 million in cap space next summer, when the Spurs could become big-time buyers in free agency – Keldon Johnson’s contract for $5.8 million would be their only guaranteed salary of more than Rs.

    San Antonio could include Jacob Poettle in the deal and also ask for the Lakers’ 2029 first-round selection.

    why do the lakers say yes

    It’s also the best chance for LA to add some major shooting around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as McDermott (42.2 percent out of three) and Richardson (41.5 percent) both lit up last season.

    Richardson is also a quality defender who can switch a range of positions, which the Lakers desperately need.

    As an added bonus, the Lakers are not required to match money in this deal as the Spurs have the cap space to absorb Westbrook’s salary in this framework. The business would immediately save Los Angeles $21.1 million, reducing them $3.9 million from luxury tax after paying $45.1 million in penalties last year.

    New-look Lakers Lineup: PG Kendrick Nunn, SG Josh Richardson, SF Doug McDermott, PF LeBron James, C Anthony Davis

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