After the Houston Rockets failed to make it to this season’s Finals, point guard Russell Westbrook has started to become the subject of trade rumors once again. With their inability to fully dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship title, there is speculation that the Rockets may consider trading Westbrook in the 2020 offseason. The Rockets might have a hard time moving him due to his massive contract, but there will surely be teams — especially those that are in dire need of additional star power and a backcourt boost — that will express strong interest in adding the former MVP to their roster this fall.
One of the most intriguing landing spots for Westbrook is the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Jonathan Kiernan of Fansided’s Lake Show Life, the Lakers may consider sending a package that includes Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Danny Green, JaVale McGee, and Rajon Rondo to the Rockets in exchange for the All-Star point guard. Trading for Westbrook would be a risky move for the Purple and Gold.
If he struggles to make himself fit in Los Angeles, he would be a huge financial burden for the team in the next three years. However, if Coach Frank Vogel is able to maximize his potential on the court, Kiernan believes that he would be the “ideal 3rd star” next to LBJ and AD.
“If used correctly, Russell Westbrook is the ideal 3rd star next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While Anthony Davis and LeBron James are on the floor, it will be Westbrook’s job to settle for mid-range jumpers, slash to the rim, and to assist the ball all in the flow of the game. With Anthony Davis and Westbrook on the floor and LeBron resting, it is the job of Westbrook to still do the above mention but to also run an effective pick and roll game with Anthony Davis.”
Westbrook wouldn’t only give the Lakers their third superstar, but he would also immediately address their need for another shot creator and playmaker. Though he’s not an efficient floor-spacer, he could be a huge help for the Lakers in terms of scoring, rebounding, facilitating the ball, and defending the perimeter. This season, he averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 1.6 steals while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 25.8 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.
Westbrook may not have given any indication that he already wants out of Houston, but being traded to the Lakers would actually make a lot of sense for him. Compared to the Rockets, joining forces with James and Davis would give him a realistic chance of winning multiple NBA championship titles. Also, it would give Westbrook, a California native, the opportunity to represent his hometown team.