Proposal Has Lakers Trade Russell Westbrook to Land $275 Million All-Star

Lakers star Russell Westbrook

Getty Lakers star Russell Westbrook

In a December 5 article called “With Anthony Davis in MVP Form, Lakers Should Go All-In This Trade Season,” Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus proposed that the Los Angeles Lakers trade Russell Westbrook to the Miami Heat.

Pincus’ hypothetical trade had the Lakers sending Westbrook and draft compensation to the Heat for Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson. Los Angeles has shopped Westbrook “since well before last year’s trade deadline,” according to Pincus.

“Might the Miami Heat send Kyle Lowry (and probably Duncan Robinson) to the Lakers for Westbrook and additional compensation? Would the Lakers consider a reunion with Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell? None of those scenarios are likely,” Pincus wrote. “Westbrook may not work in the playoffs, but the list of players who can adequately replace his shot creation is short.”

Under CBA rules, the Lakers can trade Westbrook to the Heat for Lowry and Robinson. Westbrook is in the final year of his contract, making $47.1 million this season. Meanwhile, Lowry is making $28.3 million and Robinson is making $16.9 million.

Report: Heat Are Willing to Move Lowry

Ric Bucher of Fox Sports reported on December 2 that the Heat are willing to move Lowry, who is averaging 14.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists this season. Bucher also reported in September that Miami is considered a landing spot for Westbrook.

“One league source said the Heat are willing to move Kyle Lowry, but at 37, and with another year left on a three-year $85 million deal, it’s hard to identify a team that would take him on and provide the Heat with an upgrade,” Bucher reported on December 2. “With the Lakers, it’s a matter of getting something for Russell Westbrook before he becomes a free agent next summer, and keeping the team relevant and, thereby, LeBron James happy. The problem: For all of Westbrook’s improved play coming off the bench, his salary is a whopping $47 million and a source familiar with the front office’s thinking said any deal that would have to involve one of the team’s future first-round picks ‘ain’t happening.'”

Westbrook has played well for the Lakers since coming off the bench. The one-time MVP is averaging 15.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 8.3 assists while shooting 42.3% from the field, 34.2% from beyond the arc and 66.7% from the free-throw line as a reserve. The Lakers are 8-2 over their last 10 games.

Lakers Would Be More Dynamic on Offense With Lowry & Robinson

Lowry isn’t the triple-double threat Westbrook is. However, the six-time All-Star can shoot from the perimeter and the Lakers need more shooters around superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Los Angeles is shooting just 33.0% as a team from beyond the arc in 2022-23.

Lowry is a career 36.8% shooter from 3-point range. He’s already made 54 3-pointers this season, which is 28 more than Westbrook (26). Robinson, meanwhile, is a career 40.2% shooter from deep. Both Lowry and Robinson would stretch the floor well for the Lakers and create better floor balance since opposing defenders can’t leave them open on the perimeter to trap James and Davis. Defenses continue to dare Westbrook to shoot 3-pointers since the UCLA product is shooting only 30.6% from 3-point range.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported on November 28 there is a belief shared by leaders in the Lakers’ locker room that the team is only a couple of players away from turning the group into a legitimate contender. Acquiring Lowry and Robinson — two shooters — for Westbrook could help Los Angeles become title contenders again.

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