5 roster moves the Los Angeles Lakers must make this offseason

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 15 (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 15 (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 03 (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Moves the Los Angeles Lakers need to make this offseason: Trade Russell Westbrook

Sitting atop the Lakers’ to-do list this offseason is finding a trade partner for Russell Westbrook, given that he accepts his $47 million player option for next season. Westbrook never managed to find his footing in Los Angeles throughout the 2021-22 season, largely due to his puzzling fit in the lineup alongside James and Davis. The writing has been on the wall that Westbrook will be out of LA this offseason, but the question remains who would consider taking on his hefty contract.

The first potential landing spot for Westbrook is the Charlotte Hornets, as reported by Marc Stein (subscription required). While the Hornets would likely want to send Gordon Hayward back to LA in a Westbrook trade, given his hefty contract, the Lakers should seriously inquire about Terry Rozier. The guard would immediately be a better fit than Westbrook due to his solid shooting and scoring, which could make him the ideal third star for this Los Angeles team.

If the Lakers cannot come to terms with the Hornets on a Westbrook deal, another team that may be in the mix is the Indiana Pacers, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania (subscription required).

The Pacers appear to be entering a rebuild, and taking on Westbrook, along with a few drafts picks in a trade, would make sense to help jumpstart that. If the Lakers could acquire one or even both of Malcolm Brogdon or Buddy Hield, they must pounce on the opportunity. Either player would be a significant addition due to what they bring to the table and could help make the Lakers much more formidable on impact.

Perhaps there will be more teams surface in Russell Westbrook rumors in the coming months, but the Los Angeles Lakers must find the former MVP winner a new home rather quickly.

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