If the Los Angeles Lakers traded Russell Westbrook to become a better basketball team next season, that’s not a stretch. The problem is that Westbrook doesn’t have much value and the team has to trade a first-round option to get him out of the lineup, which they reportedly don’t want to do.
In the three-team trade, the Lakers are likely to get Kyrie Irving to LA by signing and trading using Westbrook’s contract. With Kairi and the Nets in crisis, that is absolutely the best scenario. However, Kairi was essentially forced to make his way to Los Angeles and he had already forced his way Outside Since LeBron was once a teammate.
Other potential trade-offs include a salary-dump trade with the Charlotte Hornets to retain Miles Bridges this summer and eventually a new contract with Lamelo Ball. It is reported that Charlotte has a legitimate interest in Westbrook for that reason.
However, the cost always looks to the Lakers as a first-round pick, which doesn’t mean much to the team. Recent reports suggest that is not the case, and the Lakers should be able to pull it off more cheaply. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Hornets want to trade a first-round pick out of Gordon Hayward’s contract.
How this new price could affect the Charlotte Hornets for the Los Angeles Lakers trading Russell Westbrook:
This is an interesting scenario as the Hornets look to free up money to keep bridges this offseason. If Westbrook gives the Hornets long-term flexibility, they’ll add more money to their books for next season.
Charlotte owns bird rights in Bridges, who is a restricted free agent, and if she denies all of her cap this offseason, she will have a $ 14.89 million cap space for Spotrac. As it stands right now, the Hornets are still only $ 39.9 million under luxury tax, so the team will be able to acquire Bridges, Nontaxphere MLE and Westbrook in this trade and remain under tax.
They may not get the quick fix they are looking for but they will get the long-term solution of getting an expiring contract. Plus, Russell Westbrook sells tickets and if he is a devastating fit beside Lamelo, the Hornets can save even more money and buy him.
The Lakers may be able to keep Westbrook out of the trade, as the Hornets are willing to trade first to get out of Hayward. For the most part, the Lakers will be able to trade a future pickup, which is perfectly fine with a team like Charlotte.
Terry Rozier Probably If the Lakers don’t send a first-round pick they are not in contract but that’s fine. Westbrook could package Charlotte Kelly Aubrey or Mason Plumlee with Hayward in a potential deal. With Aubrey, the Hornets will take $ 4.3 million next season (with long-term savings). With Plumlee, that number is $ 7.9 million.
Heck, Charlotte can both add players and save $ 4.6 million next season if they really want to. It still works for the Los Angeles Lakers, and without first doing business, nothing is a bad deal.