When the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook last NBA offseason, most people’s first thought was probably a simple “wow”. With some time to process the facts, many probably had a similar second thought:
“How on earth is this going to work?”.
Ultimately, it didn’t. The Lakers won 33 games and missed the play-in tournament in 2021-22. Westbrook’s poor fit alongside LeBron James was a significant reason for their shortcomings. If they can trade him this summer for any value, they’ll have no other choice.
It may not be easy. Westbrook’s style of play, and its impact on winning, have come under much scrutiny in recent years.
On the other hand, he’s on an expiring contract. If the Lakers are willing to attach a sweetener or two to his contract, they may be able to make something work.
Here are three ideas that find them sending Westbrook to another organization.
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: F Gordon Hayward, G Terry Rozier
Charlotte Hornets Receive: G Russell Westbrook, 2027 First-Round Pick (LAL)