NBA Rumors: Three Realistic Trade Targets For LA Lakers In Potential Deal Involving Russell Westbrook

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JB Baruelo

After a long search, the Los Angeles Lakers have finally found their third star in the 2021 NBA offseason. A week after the 2021 NBA Draft, the Lakers have successfully acquired All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards. When the "Big Three" of Westbrook, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis was formed, they immediately became one of the heavy favorites to fully dominate the Western Conference and capture the Larry O'Brien Trophy in the 2021-22 NBA season.

Unfortunately, things didn't go as the Lakers expected from their star trio this season.

Russell Westbrook Rumors Heating Up

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Aside from his inconsistent performance on the offensive end of the floor, Westbrook is also noticeably struggling to build chemistry with James and Davis. The 2021-22 NBA season is yet to reach its halfway point, but rumors are already swirling around Westbrook's future with the Purple and Gold. According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, the Lakers already had "internal discussions" about moving Westbrook again before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

"The trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook simply hasn’t blended as well as Lakers figures hoped, and Los Angeles has held internal discussions on trade scenarios for Russell Westbrook, league sources told B/R," Fischer wrote. "But moving Westbrook and the two years, $91 million remaining on his contract does seem unlikely."

Potential Trade Targets For LA Lakers

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There's indeed a huge possibility for the Lakers to trade Westbrook, but finding a team that is willing to absorb his massive salary won't be easy. In any potential deal involving Westbrook, the Lakers would also have to take back a significant amount of money. In his article, Fischer suggested some of the players that the Lakers could target in the potential deal involving Westbrook.

These include Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio of the Cleveland Cavaliers, John Wall of the Houston Rockets, and Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kevin Love Reunites With LeBron James In Los Angeles

Sending Westbrook to the Cavaliers in exchange for Love and Rubio would undeniably be worth exploring for the Lakers. The proposed trade would allow James to reunite with Love in Los Angeles. James and Love played together in Cleveland for four years where they made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won an NBA championship title in 2016.

Rubio isn't only included in the deal for salary-matching purposes. He may no longer be in his prime, but he's still capable of filling the huge hole that Westbrook would be leaving in the Lakers' backcourt.

Lakers Trade Russell Westbrook For Disgruntled Star

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Unlike Love who is still helping the Cavaliers compete in the 2021-22 NBA season, Simmons and Wall are already available on the trade market. Simmons has been finding his way out of the City of Brotherly Love since the 2021 NBA offseason after taking most of the blame for their failure to reach the Eastern Conference Finals last season.

Though his situation isn't as dramatic as Simmons', Wall has also expressed his desire to leave the Rockets, mainly because the team is currently in the initial phase of the rebuilding process.