Lakers Urged to Trade Russell Westbrook for $94 Million Guard & $80 Million Center

Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook during media day

Getty Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook during media day

The Los Angeles Lakers have been urged to trade Russell Westbrook for a $94 million guard and $80 million center.

On October 4th’s episode of “Pardon The Interruption,” ESPN’s Michael Wilbon said the Lakers should send Westbrook and two future draft picks to the Indiana Pacers for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner.

“Hield and Turner, they make the Lakers a bigger threat now,” Wilbon said. “It allows Anthony Davis to sort of have less pressure on him, which I believe is necessary. And when Anthony Davis is out there with Turner and Hield and LeBron, now you’ve got something. You’ve got a threat of a team. So do the damn deal. Don’t tell me about the picks in 2027 and 2029. They’re not Oklahoma City.”

According to an October 3rd report from Sam Amick, Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers seriously considered sending Westbrook and unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Pacers for Turner and Hield before training camp started. Los Angeles’ key decision-makers spent several days engaged in deep conversations about Westbrook’s future.

Hield & Turner Are Better Fits on the Lakers Than Westbrook Is

Hield and Turner are better fits on the Lakers than Westbrook is since both players can shoot from the perimeter. Los Angeles nearly acquired Hield from the Sacramento Kings last offseason. However, the franchise chose to trade for Westbrook from the Washington Wizards instead. Meanwhile, the purple and gold “have long held an interest in Turner,” according to a July 9th report from Heavy’s Sean Deveney.

One of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Hield is 50th all-time in made 3-pointers and has never shot below 36.0% from 3-point range in a season. The Oklahoma product has career averages of 15.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 468 regular-season games with the New Orleans Pelicans, Kings and Pacers while shooting 39.8% from beyond the arc. Hield will make $20.5 million this season.

Turner has career averages of 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.3 blocks with the Pacers while shooting 48.9% from the floor, 34.9% from deep and 76.8% from the free-throw line. The Texas product will earn $17.5 million in 2022-23.

Hield made 262 3-pointers last season, while Turner hit 61 in 42 games. Westbrook only sank 79 3s in 78 games. The one-time MVP posted an effective field goal percentage of only 47.6%, which was sixth-worst in the league, and among 46 players to take at least 1,000 shots, Westbrook ranked 42nd in true shooting percentage.

Prospect of Westbrook Being Moved in Coming Weeks & Months Remains Real

While Westbrook wasn’t traded in the summer like so many across the league expected, the prospect of him being traded in the coming weeks and months remains real. The Lakers and Pacers can do the Westbrook-Turner-Hield trade once the season starts.

“While Westbrook wasn’t traded in the summer like so many across the league expected, league sources tell The Athletic that the prospect of him being traded in the coming weeks and months remains real,” Amick, Charania and Buha reported. “In a perfect world, Westbrook would find his stride with these Lakers, the team would perform at a high level, wins would follow and the franchise would finally show its short- and long-term potential. But a decision to trade him or not would be based on a multitude of factors – not the least of which are his play and his continued willingness to follow through on the plan set forth by first-year coach Darvin Ham. For this storied franchise that wants so desperately to make the most of LeBron James’ twilight years after he signed an extension in mid-August, this is a crucial choice that could determine whether the Lakers return to title contention anytime soon.”

The Lakers could start Kendrick Nunn, Hield, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Turner if they trade Westbrook to the Pacers for Hield and Turner. That starting lineup would feature three shooters (Nunn, Hield and Turner) around James and Davis. Turner is also a defensive star, as he’s a two-time blocks champion.

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