NBA Rumors: Proposed Blockbuster Sends Kristaps Porzingis & Kentavious Caldwell-Pope To Lakers For Package Centered On Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook playing for the Lakers
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JB Baruelo

Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook is one of the veteran superstars who are expected to be traded in the 2022 NBA offseason. The Lakers added Westbrook to their roster with the hope that pairing him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would give them a better chance of winning another NBA championship title. Unfortunately, the Lakers didn't only fail to reclaim their throne in the 2021-22 NBA season, but they also ended up missing the playoffs.

With his underwhelming performance and struggle to make himself fit with James and Davis, multiple signs are pointing out that the Lakers will try to get rid of Westbrook this summer.

Return To Wizards

Russell Westbrook attending Mountain Dew event
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Trading Westbrook would be a tough task for the Lakers. To successfully unload his massive salary, they should be willing to absorb another bad contract and sacrifice some of their future draft assets. In a recent article, James Piercey of NBA Analysis Network suggested a way on how the Lakers would be able to return the "Brodie" to the Washington Wizards this summer.

In the proposed trade scenario, the Lakers would be sending a trade package that includes Westbrook and two future first-round picks to the Wizards in exchange for Kristaps Porzingis and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Lakers Go All-In On Winning Another Title

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shooting the ball
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Trading Westbrook and two future first-round selections for Porzingis and KCP would indicate how serious the Lakers are about winning another NBA championship title in the James era. Porzingis and Caldwell-Pope may have failed to help the Wizards reach the playoffs this year, but they are both starting-caliber players in the league. If they could stay healthy throughout the 2022-23 NBA season, they could strengthen the Lakers' chances of returning to the NBA Finals and capturing the Larry O'Brien Trophy next year.

Taking A Gamble On Kristaps Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis wearing a green suit
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Bringing Porzingis to Los Angeles would come with a huge risk for the Lakers. The Latvian center isn't only injury-prone, but he's also owed $70 million over the next two years. However, with the skills that he possesses, Porzingis would undeniably be an intriguing acquisition for the Lakers.

Porzingis would give them an All-Star caliber big man who is capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc. Aside from his ability to space the floor, the 26-year-old center is also a very reliable scorer under the basket, a great rebounder, and a quality rim protector.

Wizards Undergo A Full-Scale Rebuild

Russell Westbrook practicing his shooting
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The proposed blockbuster deal would make a lot of sense for the Wizards if they lose Bradley Beal this summer and decide to immediately undergo a full-scale rebuild. By sending Porzingis and Caldwell-Pope to Los Angeles, the Wizards would be acquiring two future first-round picks that they could use to add young and promising players to their roster. With Beal and Porzingis gone and Westbrook's contract expiring after the 2022-23 NBA season, the Wizards could open up a huge chunk of their salary cap space to chase quality free agents in the summer of 2023.