Former NBA exec floats out interesting trade idea for Lakers involving Russell Westbrook heading to Thunder

Peter Dewey
2 Min Read

Former NBA executive John Hollinger recently floated a way for the Los Angeles Lakers to get rid of Russell Westbrook’s contract this coming offseason.

Hollinger proposed a trade that would have the Lakers sending Westbrook back to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he started his career, in exchange for Derrick Favors.

“One tantalizing possibility, for instance, would be to trade Derrick Favors and another small contract to the Lakers for Westbrook and an unprotected Laker first in 2027, a deal which would generate a ginormous Laker trade exception to bring in other talent via their newly available 2029 first,” Hollinger wrote. “They could also swallow Tobias Harris in one gulp (although Philly is out of picks to include) or Davis Bertans or some other desperately unwanted contract.”

The Lakers would have to include a pick to facilitate the deal in Hollinger’s eyes, but it could help the team bring in more talent around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Lakers have struggled in the 2021-22 campaign, and Westbrook’s fit with the team is in serious question through the first 57 games. Los Angeles is just 26-31 so far this season and is in serious danger of having to play in the league’s play-in tournament for the second straight season.

This season, Westbrook is averaging 18.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game while shooting 43.6 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from beyond the arc.

The Lakers are going to be in a tough spot this offseason, as they’ll possibly need to move Westbrook in order to retain guard Malik Monk, who is set to become a free agent.

Unless the Lakers turn things around after the All-Star break, it’s hard to see Westbrook remaining in Los Angeles for another season, even if a trade means the Lakers must sacrifice a draft asset.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.