Lakers Could Trade for $180 Million Forward in Westbrook Swap: Insider

russell westbrook

Getty Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook.

Whether they like it or not, the Los Angeles Lakers are stuck with Russell Westbrook this season. They apparently could’ve gotten rid of him at the trade deadline but didn’t want to give up their 2027 first-round pick. The guard has a player option on his contract this offseason but it’s impossible to imagine that he’ll walk away from the $47 million he’s owed next season. He will never get another max contract in his career.

Westbrook’s trade value is the lowest it has ever been but perhaps there’s another player on a bad contract that’s a better fit with the Lakers. Heavy insiders Steve Bulpett and Sean Deveney had a chance to discuss Tobias Harris as a possible player who Los Angeles could swap Westbrook for.

“If there’s a team that thinks he’s the lynchpin to get them over the top—put it this way, if a team like the Lakers were playing better and thought they might have a real chance to get something, would they try to put something together to get another scorer, someone to keep people away a little bit, give Anthony Davis and LeBron James a little more room to work, that might be a spot,” Bulpett said.

“You know, it’s hard to see someone paying that guy that much money because that’s the kind of money you pay to a magnetic player. Tobias Harris, for all his talent, and he is a very good basketball player, he is not one of those guys.”

“If you’re the Lakers, you could do Russell Westbrook, right?” Deveney asked. “You could do Russell Westbrook for Tobias Harris, and that would make for some interesting times for the reporters of Philadelphia. You do Westbrook, throw in that 2027 first-round pick and you get back Tobias Harris—you’re out of the Westbrook woods at least.”

While it would be an interesting deal, Bulpett isn’t convinced that Westbrook would fit next to the Philadelphia 76ers‘ other stars.

“Put Russell Westbrook and James Harden, with Joel Embiid, in the same dressing room and that’s a reality show waiting to happen,” Bulpett replied.

Deveney noted that Westbrook and Harden did have a decent relationship in Houston before things got ugly.

“They did all right together for a while, at least, in Houston, it wasn’t a disaster,” Deveney said. “At least for a time. It didn’t end well, but they held it together.”

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Lakers Should Be Willing to Make This Trade if Possible

Harris doesn’t have nearly the accolades that Westbrook has. He’s never been an All-Star nor has he ever won a major NBA award. However, he’s certainly a better fit in Los Angeles. That isn’t to say he’s a perfect but Westbrook’s presence makes the team worse.

The money could work as Harris is curretnly getting an average of $36 million a year. The 76ers would need to attach another contract to make the trade work perfectly but it’s not impossible. The one drawback is that the Lakers would be stuck paying Harris until 2024 where Westbrook would be off the books in 2023.

MAVERICKS at LAKERS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | March 1, 2022The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 109-104. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 25 PTS, 8 REB and 5 AST, while Jalen Brunson added 22 PTS and 4 STL in the victory. LeBron James tallied 26 PTS, 12 REB and 5 AST for the Lakers in the losing effort. The Mavericks improve to…2022-03-02T05:41:21Z

Lakers Just Need to Get off Westbrook

Westbrook is going to stay in the starting lineup this season but under no circumstances should he be a Laker next season. He’s rigid and not willing to do what it takes to help the team win. He should be coming off the bench right now but won’t.

At this point, the Lakers have to cut their losses this offseason. Whether that’s having to stretch out his contract or using a first round pick to trade him, he’s got to get moved. The Lakers should have options considering his contract expiring next season.

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Michael Markowich
Michael Markowich
8 months ago

This will not work as long a James is on the team and running it , it is “ James first “ everyone else later . He has to be number 1 .

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