The Los Angeles Lakers came into 2021-22 with massive championship aspirations. After officially being eliminated from playoff contention this week, the team’s front office signaled that changes were coming.
One key one?
The inevitable trading away of failed offseason acquisition, Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook has a massive contract that needs to be unloaded, but fortunately, there appears to be one team willing to take it and his big personality on.
That team? The Charlotte Hornets.
“Charlotte has been increasingly mentioned by league insiders as a team to watch on the Westbrook front,” NBA reporter Marc Stein wrote this week.
“All-Star guard LaMelo Ball is firmly ensconced as the Hornets’ face of the franchise and on-the-ball star, but one scenario making the rounds is a belief that the Hornets could emerge with Westbrook interest in the name of creating some financial flexibility.”
Westbrook has a player option for next year worth $47 million, but after that he comes off the books. The Hornets are saddled with big deals for Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier that create some financial messiness, and then Miles Bridges is getting a big extension over the summer.
Westbrook could give them some room to operate from a financial perspective.
Paulina Gretzky just stole the show at the Masters. https://t.co/SA9gAXW2HC
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 8, 2022
But money-wise, this move could make sense for Charlotte.
Could Westbrook be a member of the Hornets come this time next year? Time will tell.