All offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to a number of names. From Damian Lillard to Russell Westbrook, the team gets involved in a lot of possible trades. After weeks of speculation, a deal is done.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers are nearing a deal that sends Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a 2021 first-round pick to the Washington Wizards for Westbrook, 2024 second-round pick, 2028 second-round pick.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski also confirmed the news.
A deal seemed imminent for most of the day but it took some time for the two sides to iron out the specifics of the trade. This deal has been talked about in recent weeks with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated being the first to bring it up as a possibility. The Lakers get a former MVP but have to move on from three key role players. This will make the Lakers the most fascinating team to watch in the NBA next season.
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Lakers Could Trade for Buddy Hield
Prior to Charania dropping the Westbrook news, Wojnarowski made it appears that the Lakers were about to trade for Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield in a deal that sent away Kuzma and Harrell.
While talks continued to go on, it appears that Hield won’t be coming to Los Angeles anytime soon. Never say never but it’s hard to imagine that the Lakers can also figure out a way to get the sharpshooter.
Hield would be a strong fit with the Lakers. He’d easily be their third-best scorer and his career 40.6% 3-point shooting would be a big boost. However, he doesn’t have the star power of Westbrook and that won out in the end.
Westbrook Is Odd Fit With Lakers
While adding a former MVP gives the Lakers a bonafide big three between Westbrook, Anthony Davis and LeBron James, this team is not without issues. Westbrook is essentially the polar opposite of what Los Angeles needs. The team needs shooting and spacing. Westbrook is a career 30.5% 3-point shooter and only shoots 43.7% from the field. He’s done his best work we can be the main guy but that won’t be the case anymore. He’s clearly third on the totem pole behind LeBron and Davis.
Will the Lakers be exciting this season? Yes. Westbrook is a fiery competitor and dynamic playmaker. If he can change his playing style to fit better with Davis and LeBron, this team could win multiple championships. However, Westbrook hasn’t always been the most flexible player. This would be a big swing for the Lakers and it could pay off. They’ll need to do some serious work on the roster, though. By trading away Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles loses their best 3-point shooter. The Lakers could end up having one of the worst shooting teams in the league if they don’t add a few sharpshooters this offseason. There’s a lot to like about the possible Westbrook deal but it’s far from a home run.