Report: Lakers have been in contact with Hornets as they continue to try to move Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have been in contract with the Charlotte Hornets ahead of the trade deadline this season, according to Hoops Wire’s Sam Amico.

“The Lakers continue to search for trades centered on guards Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley,” Amico wrote. “They have been in contact with the Hornets lately, sources said.”

The Lakers appear to be at least canvassing the league for a potential move ahead of the Feb. 9 deadline, and NBA insider Chris Haynes believes that Rob Pelinka could have another move up his sleeve to improve the roster.

The Hornets are having a rough 2022-23 season, and they could look to sell off veteran players such as Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre Jr. or even guard Terry Rozier at the deadline. Right now, Charlotte is in the No. 14 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 15-37 record.

Since Westbrook and Beverley are both on expiring contracts, the Lakers may be able to attach them to a draft asset to acquire a rotation-caliber player from a team like Charlotte.

Los Angeles already made a move to bolster its forward depth by acquiring Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and three second-round draft picks.

While the Lakers are still on the outside of the play-in tournament picture in the Western Conference, they are just three games out of the No. 5 seed. If the team can make a run in the second half of the season, it could push itself into a playoff or at least a play-in spot.

Westbrook and Beverley have both played big roles for the Lakers this season, but it was reported that Los Angeles has concerns about Westbrook’s “playoff viability” this season.

Since neither of the guards has shot the ball well from beyond the arc this season, the Lakers may view a player on the Hornets as a better fit around LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the stretch run of the 2022-23 campaign.

Both Oubre and Hayward are solid wing scorers, but Hayward has been injury-prone in recent seasons. Oubre has also been banged up in the 2022-23 season, as he tore a ligament in his left hand.

There could be other players that the Lakers are focused on in Charlotte, but it’s unclear what draft assets the team would be willing to part ways with to make a deal come to fruition.

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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.