Proposed Trade Lands Lakers $85 Million Star for Russell Westbrook

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook

Getty Lakers guard Russell Westbrook

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to try to trade Russell Westbrook this summer and Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News has a trade idea involving the Indiana Pacers.

In a May 23 column, Winfield proposed that the Lakers trade Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker and draft picks to the Pacers for Malcolm Brogdon and Buddy Hield this offseason.

“The Russell Westbrook trade to the Lakers was never a good idea, and to compound matters, Westbrook’s contract makes him difficult to trade: He will earn $47M after one of the worst statistical seasons of his career,” Winfield wrote. “But the Lakers have already proven they don’t need a third star: They won in the bubble with LeBron James and Anthony Davis – and a bunch of other pieces that fit. The Pacers have those pieces and should be able to trade Westbrook elsewhere for additional assets closer to the trade deadline or find an additional suitor to make this a three-team deal.”

Brogdon and Hield project to fit well on the Lakers since they are good shooters. The former is a career 37.6% shooter from beyond the arc, while the latter is at 39.8%.

Winfield Details Pros & Cons of Trading for Brogdon

Brogdon has career averages of 15.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 333 games with the Milwaukee Bucks and Pacers. He won the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year Award and joined the prestigious 50-40-90 club in 2018-19 by shooting 50.0% from the field, 40.0% from beyond the arc and 90.0% from the free-throw line.

Brogdon would be a significant upgrade over Westbrook since he can space the floor with his shooting. However, his injury history is a concern.

“Brogdon fits for any team, however, that needs a player who can do three specific things: run the offense, hit open threes and defend multiple positions,” Winfield wrote. “If it sounds like a dream come true, here’s Brogdon’s nightmare: injuries. His games played sheet looks more like a lottery ticket (36, 56, 54, 64, 48) than a player available for a full 82-game season. That’s the risk a team’s going to have to take: A bet on Brogdon being healthy is a bet on a winning season. It also might be a bet on the piece that lifts a team to championship contention.”

Brogdon will make $22,600,000 next season. He signed a four-year, $85 million contract in 2019 and a two-year, $45 million extension in 2021.

Getting Hield Would Be Massive for Lakers

Hield is one of the best shooters in NBA history. He’s 50th all-time in made 3-pointers (1,417) and would mesh well with LeBron James and Anthony Davis since he can roam around the arc while the Lakers superstars have the ball and spot-up and hit open shots.

The Lakers almost acquired Hield from the Sacramento Kings last offseason. However, they chose to trade for Westbrook instead and that wound up being a terrible move. Westbrook was second in the NBA in turnovers and his effective field goal percentage of 47.6% was sixth-worst in the league in 2021-22.

Hield will make $20,522,726 next season. The Pacers acquired him from the Kings at the 2022 trade deadline in the Domantas Sabonis trade.

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