The Los Angeles Lakers haven't had the best season this year, and many have viewed making a trade as a potential solution. A lot of people have criticized Russell Westbrook's fit with the team in particular, so that has led a lot of people to believe that a Russell Westbrook trade is the solution to their problems.
With that being said, Russell Westbrook is still a good player, even if there are concerns about how he works with the rest of the roster. The Los Angeles Lakers shouldn't just trade him for subpar trade offers. Here are some offers that the Lakers probably wouldn't accept in return for the point guard.
3. Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk
This is a trade package that could potentially have value for the Los Angeles Lakers. Jerami Grant is a two-way forward that could provide benefits on both ends of the floor, while Kelly Olynyk is a floor-spacing big man that can provide shooting to help the Lakers' slashers like LeBron James. On paper, this could potentially be a good Russell Westbrook trade.
However, there are definitely some concerns with this. Both Jerami Grant and Kelly Olynyk are currently injured, and when they return, the team will need to integrate them into their gameplan and build chemistry with them. It would definitely be a difficult task, especially given the fact that we're already halfway through the season.
If this is the trade package for Russell Westbrook, then perhaps it would be better to be patient with him and let him find his footing on the Los Angeles Lakers. At the end of the day, Russell Westbrook is still a former MVP and an impact player, and he's already been on the squad for half the season. Rolling with him and hoping that he, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis figure things out is a good option as any.
2. Tobias Harris
Tobias Harris is a solid forward who can do a little bit of everything. Currently, Tobias Harris is averaging 18.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 3.9 APG for the Philadelphia 76ers. His contract is similar to Russell Westbrook's, and theoretically, the two can be exchanged in a straight swap. The 76ers have already stated that they wouldn't be interested in a Ben Simmons-Russell Westbrook exchange, so Harris seems like a natural trade option.
However, acquiring Tobias Harris wouldn't necessarily solve the Lakers' problems. Tobias Harris isn't particularly good on the defensive end, and he's only shooting 29.9% from beyond the arc this season. He doesn't provide good spacing, nor does he give the Lakers a good shot creator on the perimeter. The Lakers need a point guard who can run the offense and take the load off of LeBron James rather than a player like Harris.
On top of the fit concerns about Tobias Harris, Russell Westbrook is simply a better player. Harris cannot create opportunities for role players like Westbrook, nor can he energize the team or score at the rim quite as well.
It makes sense that the Tobias Harris-Russell Westbrook swap would be suggested by fans, as both have similar contracts and are viewed as negatives. However, the two are in different tiers as players, and that is why Russell Westbrook wouldn't be traded in this scenario.
1. John Wall
Russell Westbrook and John Wall were notably traded for one another after the 2019-20 season, with Westbrook headed for the Washington Wizards from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Wall. Some have suggested that the two should be traded for one another once again, with Westbrook heading to the Rockets in exchange for Wall, who would be moving to the Lakers.
John Wall could potentially make a fantastic 3rd option in a different situation from the rebuilding Rockets. However, at this point in his career, he is not a better player than Russell Westbrook. John Wall had solid counting stats during the 2020-21 season, averaging 20.6 PPG and 6.1 APG. However, he was not at all efficient, shooting only 40.4% from the field and 31.7% from beyond the arc.
This season, Russell Westbrook is putting up 18.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG, and 8.1 APG, while shooting 43.7% from beyond the field and 28.8% from beyond the arc. Based on his production, he's better than the last version of John Wall that we saw, and those numbers could potentially improve once Westbrook gets out of his shooting slump.
It makes sense that Russell Westbrook for John Wall would be suggested as a trade, as they are both point guards, and trading for Wall could let the Lakers shake things up. However, it wouldn't be wise to make a trade for the sake of making a trade, especially as the Lakers would give the Rockets the better player.