Russell Westbrook has opted into his $47 million player option and will remain with the Los Angeles Lakers for the time being. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t eventually be traded as the Lakers try to maximize LeBron James’ final years in the league. The Westbrook experiment did not work last season and it’s hard to see LA running things back with the point guard.
Here’s a look at some trades involving Westbrook using ESPN’s NBA trade machine.
Trade 1 Framework
Lakers get: Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier
Hornets get: Russell Westbrook, 2027 first-round pick, 2029 first-round pick
The Lakers will likely have some protections on those draft picks, but this nets LA some competent rotation players to surround James and Anthony Davis. The Hornets don’t really have a reason to help the Lakers, and Westbrook’s fit doesn’t really make sense in Charlotte. However, those draft picks might be enough for the Hornets to move off the long-term salary and make the deal.
Trade 2 Framework
Lakers get: Alec Burks, Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose
Knicks get: Russell Westbrook, 2027 first-round pick, 2029 first-round pick
LA is not getting any stars back for Westbrook, but Burks and Fournier are at least competent rotation players. Rose presents some of the same problems Westbrook did when fitting in with James and Davis but the Lakers have to make some concessions for moving off Westbrook’s deal. The draft picks could be enough for New York to bite.
In either case, the Lakers are going to send out multiple future first-round picks to get rid of Westbrook’s deal and attempt to contend. We’ll see if the front office decides to make a move or keep Westbrook for one more season and attempt to figure things out on the court.