Latest rumors regarding the Lakers at the trade deadline
Per Sam Amico of Hoops Wire, “the Lakers and Charlotte Hornets have been in contact about guards Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley.”
LA and Charlotte had talks about a potential Westbrook trade this past offseason, so there is familiarity there. Also, the current president of basketball operations and general manager of the Hornets is Mitch Kupchak, who was the Lakers' general manager for 17 seasons.
The report of these teams having trade discussions comes shortly after Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report reported that, “the Lakers have concerns about Westbrook’s viability in the postseason.” There are no details as to whether these reports are related to one another, but it is interesting knowing the timeframe of both reports.
Westbrook has rejuvenated himself since the move to the 6th man role of the bench, averaging 16/6/8 off the bench this season. He is on an expiring contract and is making $47 million this season. In all likelihood, Westbrook may leave the Lakers this offseason via free agency, where they would get nothing in return, so potentially trading him and getting quality assets is appealing to the team.
RUSS ⚡️⚡️⚡️ pic.twitter.com/ajqb27n8Hh— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) February 1, 2023
The Hornets have many players who could fit well in Darvin Ham's system. Hayward could be included in the deal as he is a good wing scorer that is averaging 14/5/4 on the season so far but has a long injury history. He is making $30 million this season and is scheduled to make $31 million next season.
His pricey deal makes him a less valuable trade piece.
Players that LA would be more interested in are Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, PJ Washington, and Mason Plumlee. A combination of Rozier, Oubre, and either Washington or Plumlee would make the salaries work.
Another potential trade deadline option that the Lakers could target is Gary Trent Jr. If you want to learn more about why he would be a good fit, read this article.
Gary Trent Jr. could expect a deal in the $20-million range if he opts out of the last year of his contract, per @michaelgrange— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) February 1, 2023
“In other words, the idea of a Jordan Poole or Tyler Herro-like payday”
(Via https://t.co/BylAFhGjxS) pic.twitter.com/ismUOpGYNJ
According to Michael Grange of Sportsnet, “league sources peg Trent Jr.'s likely trade value at a protected first-round or two good second-round picks, along with a matching salary.”
The Lakers currently have four future second-round picks, and two highly coveted 1st round picks that the league has had their eyes on, so could Rob Pelinka send some of these picks to Toronto for Trent Jr?
The team is currently sitting in 13th place in the Western Conference but only sit three games back of the 5th spot in the West. The West is wide open, and the Lakers look like they are on their way to a busy trade deadline.
What do you think of these rumors? Is the Charlotte package enticing, or should the Lakers pivot to Trent Jr?