The trade deadline is almost here and the Los Angeles Lakers are running out of time to make a potential deal. It’s been reported by ESPN’s Dave McMenamin that the players believe that a trade needs to happen if they hope to compete for a title this season. Unfortunately, options are limited due to the offseason trade for Russell Westbrook.
While the Lakers can add small pieces, the only big trade they could make would have to involve Westbrook. In the offseason, the team landed the guard from the Washington Wizards. The deal has been a disaster for Los Angeles but it hasn’t been much better for Washington. After a strong start to the season, the Wizards are now 24-29 and the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference. Plus, star guard Bradley Beal is out for the season with a wrist injury.
For all his faults, Westbrook was actually a solid fit in Washington and helped lead them to the playoffs last season. Perhaps the team is eyeing the Lakers’ current situation to see if there’s a way to get the guard back. According to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports, a source is telling him that the Wizards would consider signing Westbrook if he’s traded to the Houston Rockets in a Wall swap and then bought out.
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This Would Be a Wild Scenario
If this scenario actually happens and the Wizards pull this off, it would be wild to say the least. The team traded Westbrook to the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and a first-round pick. If they are able to sign Westbrook to a reasonable deal on the buyout market, that essentially means Washington gave up nothing to get all of those assets while the Lakers gave up their best assets for Wall. If that’s not highway robbery nothing is.
This would be an incredibly bad look for Los Angeles if it actually happens. At this point, it’s not likely. There’s no reason to believe Westbrook would accept a buyout and leave the $47 million he’s due next season on the table. After his horrendous season, he’ll never get anything close to a max contract ever again. Next year will be his last big payday.
Would Wizards Consider Trading With Lakers?
As improbable as it sounds, perhaps the Wizards and Lakers acknowledge that they both made mistakes in the offseason and have a conversation. Washington is going nowhere fast but Westbrook is a player who can get them to the playoffs with pure willpower. A deal where the Wizards send Kuzma, Caldwell-Pope, Spencer Dinwiddie and a 2027 first-round pick for Westbrook might actually make a bit of sense.
The Dinwiddie experience hasn’t gone well in Washington and they are looking to move him. Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope are decent role players at best. Plus, they’d get that coveted 2027 first-round pick, which could be very valuable considering LeBron James will almost certainly be retired or not as dominant by then. The Wizards are in the middle of a lost season with Beal getting hurt. Why not get a strong asset back in the first-round pick and bring back a player who played well for them? It’s a long shot but it could be a solid deal for both teams.