NBA Trades: 3 Russell Westbrook Trades to Save the Lakers Season

Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Getty Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers.

LeBron James is fed up. Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook, things have gone downhill. But instead of trading him away this summer, they kept the same core intact, refusing to give up their future first-round picks.

But now that James is making it evidently clear that he wants the team to make a move, it’s time for them to succumb to the pressure. It’s time for the Lakers to trade their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to help James and Anthony Davis push for a championship.

Here are three Westbrook trades to help the Lakers make a title push.

NBA Trades: 3 Russell Westbrook Trades to Save the Lakers Season – D’Angelo Russell Deal With Heat & Timberwolves

Lakers receive: D’Angelo Russell, Duncan Robinson

Timberwolves receive: Russell Westbrook, 2027 1st-Round Pick (via LAL), 2028 2nd-Round Pick (via MIA)

Heat receive: Taurean Prince

This is a relatively simple deal (for a three-team trade), but all teams involved would fill a need. Starting off with the Lakers, D’Angelo Russell is a much better fit for their current team than Westbrook. His shot creation and shooting would be very useful alongside James and Davis.

The same can be said for Duncan Robinson. After signing his long-term extension, Robinson struggled to maintain his spot in the rotation in Miami, but with the Lakers, he would have a chance to revive his career in a new setting.

Westbrook isn’t an ideal fit for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he’s arguably a better game manager. And considering their lack of success so far this year, getting a first and a second for Russell’s expiring contract would be solid value.

Lastly, the Miami Heat would be filling the hole that PJ Tucker left at the power forward position. Taurean Prince isn’t perfect, but he’d give them a second option alongside Caleb Martin.

NBA Trades: 3 Russell Westbrook Trades to Save the Lakers Season – Terry Rozier Deal With Hornets

Lakers receive: Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre Jr., Mason Plumlee

Hornets receive: Russell Westbrook, 2027 1st-Round Pick, 2029 1st-Round Pick (Lottery Protected)

This concept was brought to the table this past offseason, but there didn’t seem to be much traction. Gordon Hayward was also involved in the deal, but considering his continuous injury problems, the Lakers would almost certainly want to stay away.

The Charlotte Hornets have had a terrible season. The Miles Bridges situation was an awful omen before their year even began, and injuries to their core pieces have led to them being 11-29 on the year – 14th in the Eastern Conference.

Getting two potentially solid future first-round picks would be a great haul for Terry Rozier’s massive contract and two expiring deals. This trade would open up a ton of cap space moving forward for Charlotte, and they would add two more assets to their future trade arsenal, which could be used to land a LaMelo Ball co-star.

As for the Lakers, this is about as straightforward as it gets. Westbrook gets swapped out for Rozier, who would fit nicely in LA’s starting unit (or off the bench) as an on-ball and off-ball threat. Meanwhile, Oubre (who is having a career year) would be a perfect wing to play alongside James and Davis, and Plumlee would give them extra big man depth.

NBA Trades: 3 Russell Westbrook Trades to Save the Lakers Season – Nikola Vucevic Deal With Bulls & Mavericks

Lakers receive: Nikola Vucevic, Tim Hardaway Jr., JaVale McGee

Bulls receive: Russell Westbrook, 2025 1st-Round Pick (via DAL), 2027 1st-Round Pick (via LAL), 2029 1st-Round Pick (via LAL)

Mavericks receive: DeMar DeRozan

This deal would give the Lakers a huge boost in regard to their depth. Adding Nikola Vucevic into the mix would land them a new third star, and one that would be able to space the floor nicely while also grabbing double-digit rebounds every game.

Tim Hardaway Jr. would also be a great addition. He can play well off the ball, as he has in Dallas, and is also capable of creating his own shot. JaVale McGee would be a solid center to bring off the bench, too, as he played well last time he was in LA and has a solid relationship with the team’s stars.

For the Dallas Mavericks, this deal would see them jump the gun a bit, trading away a future first for win-now help. That being said, DeMar DeRozan’s shot creation and star power would take a ton of pressure off of Doncic.

As for the Chicago Bulls, a trade like this would be their way of waving the white flag. They would be admitting that their current core isn’t capable of winning a title. That being said, getting three unprotected first-round picks back in return for Vucevic and DeRozan would be a solid haul.

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