2 reasons the Charlotte Hornets should not trade for Russell Westbrook

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 28 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 28 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /
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Charlotte Hornets, Russell Westbrook
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – JANUARY 28: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets dribbles against Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of the game at Spectrum Center on January 28, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

No. 2 – Putting together a feasible trade package for Russell Westbrook would not be without its challenges for the Charlotte Hornets

Whichever team that trades for Westbrook will have to inherit his $47 million contract, given that he does indeed accept his player option in free agency, which is inevitable. Given that his contract will be expiring next season, it makes it somewhat easier to digest, but $47 million is still nothing to scoff at here. To match that hefty salary, the Hornets would have to gut their roster by trading a handful of key pieces.

The first package that came to mind from a financial standpoint was Terry Rozier ($21.4 million) and Gordon Hayward ($30 million) for Westbrook. The trade works and even opens up some more breathing room financially for Charlotte, but it just seems incredibly unlikely that they would even entertain the idea.

Hayward has had a tough year and has a hefty salary over the next two years, but he is a good fit for this team when he is healthy. Meanwhile, Rozier has an upcoming four-year contract extension set to kick in after the season, and the Hornets should look to keep him, given that he has played the best basketball of his career in Charlotte and is a better fit alongside Ball.

If the Hornets want to keep Rozier but still make a push for Westbrook, which would raise some question marks in itself, there is a pathway. They could deal Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre Jr., and P.J. Washington to match salaries, but would the Hornets consider trading away three pieces that fit on this roster for a question mark like Westbrook? Many would argue that they would be better off just standing pat with the pieces that they have and continuing to build with them in tow.

At the end of the day, drastically shaking up the roster for a player whose fit is questionable is not the ideal move for a franchise looking to take the next step forward. Westbrook will almost certainly be dealt elsewhere through trade this offseason, but the Hornets would be an odd fit for the former MVP.

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