The Los Angeles Lakers are clearly a team that needed to change their roster this off-season to be more competitive. Despite the presence of both LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the roster, the team went 33-49 and missed the play-in tournament.
Russell Westbrook is a player that many fans and analysts viewed as one of the issues for the Los Angeles Lakers last season. His ball-dominant and inefficient playstyle has earned him a lot of criticism, and there's no doubt that the point guard struggled at times last season.
NBA Executive Thinks Lakers And Pistons Can Mutually Benefit From A Trade
Perhaps a solution to the Russell Westbrook conundrum could be a trade. A new start for both the point guard and the Los Angeles Lakers could be the best option for both parties.
An NBA executive spoke to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com and suggested a Russell Westbrook trade between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons. The trade would feature the Pistons sending out a number of their veterans in order to get Russell Westbrook and a future first-round pick from the Lakers.
“I’d be willing to get involved if I were the Pistons,” the executive said. “I would want that 2027 pick unprotected, and take back Russell Westbrook and send you all my veterans, all my junk. Right now, Detroit is taking the approach of just waiting, playing with the guys they got from the Knicks, and trading during the season. That team needs to tank some more, they need (Victor) Wembanyama, or at least they need to be in the mix.”
“Send back Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel and (Kelly) Olynyk and Kemba (Walker). The Lakers would be doing a 1-for-4 deal there, so they’d have to move guys around… You have some tradeable contracts, and you have some veterans you can use for depth. I’d consider it on both sides.”
This trade definitely has some benefits for both teams. The Los Angeles Lakers would be acquiring a group of solid veterans while only giving up one of their future first-round picks. Kemba Walker, Alec Burks, and Kelly Olynyk are all solid 3PT shooters, while Nerlens Noel is an athletic defensive-minded big man that would fit coach Darvin Ham's philosophy. Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons would be able to get an expiring contract and a future high-value first-round pick for their rebuild.
It remains to be seen if the Los Angeles Lakers do end up doing a move with a similar framework. It was recently reported that they are still in trade talks with the Utah Jazz about some of their players, but perhaps this suggested trade could be another solid option for the team.