Lakers insider pegs 3 most likely landing spots for veteran guard Russell Westbrook - Lakers Daily

Lakers insider pegs 3 most likely landing spots for veteran guard Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook Lakers

Russell Westbrook may have already played his last game in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform.

When the Lakers acquired Westbrook in the 2021 offseason, they were largely expected to contend for the 2022 title. Instead, the team won’t even make it to the play-in tournament.

Consequentially, L.A. could explore trading away the former MVP this coming offseason. Lakers insider Jovan Buha believes that the three teams that make the most sense as trade partners for L.A. are the Houston Rockets, New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets.

“I guess my top three will probably be again Houston, New York and Charlotte, based on what I’ve heard and what other people have reported,” said Buha regarding potential destinations for Westbrook.

Westbrook played for the Rockets in the 2019-20 season. The Knicks, meanwhile, are another marquee franchise searching for a point guard. As for Charlotte, it was reported recently that the Hornets are a “team to watch” in any Westbrook trade chatter.

Of course, it is unclear whether or not L.A. will actually end up trading Westbrook, as doing so is easier said than done.

The nine-time All-Star has stated that he plans on running it back with LeBron James and Anthony Davis next season, which is certainly interesting. It’s worth noting that Westbrook’s substandard play this season is not the only reason for the Lakers’ disappointing campaign. The team has been ravaged by several injuries, with James and Davis missing significant time.

There is also the challenge of finding a trade package that would benefit L.A., as other teams will likely try to pry away some draft assets from the Lakers in exchange for swallowing what’s remaining of Westbrook’s massive contract.

If the Lakers can’t get a trade done but still want to get rid of Westbrook, there are other avenues to do so. The Lakers are even reportedly not ruling out using a waive-and-stretch provision to release him.