2 Russell Westbrook trades for Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets

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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Los Angeles Lakers: Russell Westbrook, Charlotte Hornets: LaMelo Ball
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – JANUARY 28 (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Trade No. 1 between the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets

Los Angeles Lakers receive: Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre Jr., Mason Plumlee

Charlotte Hornets receive: Russell Westbrook, first-round pick, two second-round picks

Given that the Hornets will not be trading ascending star LaMelo Ball under any circumstances in a Westbrook trade, Terry Rozier is likely the player the Lakers would ask about. In this deal, LA would acquire Rozier along with two other quality rotational pieces in Kelly Oubre Jr. and Mason Plumlee in exchange for Westbrook, a future first-round pick, and two second-round selections.

LA’s Perspective: Los Angeles needs a point guard that fits with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and Rozier fits the billing, largely due to his scoring and shooting. The guard buried the 12th-most 3-pointers in the association this season with 222 total, having shown off his range. Westbrook’s inability to shoot the long ball was among the most prominent reasons that he never managed to fit in with the Lakers, and Rozier would immediately fit much better. They would have to take on more long-term money as Rozier has an upcoming four-year extension, but that may not be a big issue, given how ideal his fit with the team would be.

While Rozier would be the centerpiece, Oubre and Plumlee would be far more than just throw-ins for this particular deal. Oubre has carved out a role for himself in the NBA as a solid 3-and-D wing, which is a significant need for the Lakers as they look to retool this roster. Oubre would shore up the Lakers’ defense while also bringing more shooting into the mix. Plumlee would be a viable backup center to acquire as he also brings some solid interior defense and rebounding to the table. Though they would have to part ways with some of their lone picks for the foreseeable future, it may be worth it to get this many quality pieces in return.

CHA’s Perspective: For Charlotte, losing Rozier may hurt, but the chance to keep their long-term flexibility open and add three picks could be too desirable to resist. With these picks, the Hornets could potentially look to make a seismic splash on the trade market, whether that be for a player like Myles Turner, Rudy Gobert, or any other potential trade target that could be available during the offseason. As for Westbrook, keeping him on the roster might not be the best idea, given the perplexing fit in the backcourt that would arise with Ball in this scenario. A buyout is a likely option here, and although that would be a massive chunk of change for Charlotte to eat, the draft capital would make that far easier to digest.