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NBA Insider Reveals The Lakers' Perfect Plan For The Next Season: Malcolm Brogdon And Buddy Hield For Russell Westbrook, Nick Nurse And Sam Presti Join The Lakers

NBA Insider Reveals The Lakers' Perfect Plan For The Next Season: Malcolm Brogdon And Buddy Hield For Russell Westbrook, Nick Nurse And Sam Presti Join The Lakers

The 2022 NBA Playoffs are underway and if there is a team that fans are missing the most, it has to be the Los Angeles Lakers. Before the season began, the Lakers were super busy in the offseason and attempted to create a superteam.

They traded for Russell Westbrook in order to pair him up with the existing superstar duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The organization also added several veteran pieces around the trio to make the team look scary, at least on paper.

Well, with the regular season over and the Lakers sitting out not only the playoffs but the play-in tournament as well, it is safe to assume that the experiment has failed. As a result, there has been a lot of chatter around the league that the team will be making a lot of changes to the roster and coaching department before the new season begins.

The Purple and Gold have already sacked their head coach Frank Vogel, so the team will be actively looking to fill that spot. On top of that, there has been constant chatter around Russell Westbrook being traded from the team as well, following an underwhelming season.

On that note, Jovan Buha of "The Athletic" recently joined the "Locked On Lakers," where he spoke freely about his thoughts on the changes that the Lakers need to make before the new season begins.

(starts at 11:10)

"I think just being the Lakers and again having LeBron and AD. I think you can have probably a conversation with anybody but I think the Lakers have to come correct with the years and the money. I think they have to learn from their previous coaching search and the way that they fumbled. Imagine Ty Lue with this team, imagine Monty Williams with this team and that's no disrespect towards Frank Vogel, he won them a championship. ... LeBron and AD would have to be on board with whoever they hire and I think for me the top candidate has to be Nick Nurse. He's under contract but there's Klutch connection it would probably have to be a Doc Rivers to the Clippers situation where they give up a pick and that might be too much to stomach. Throw THT and a first round pick for sure. ... People are kind of underselling the whole Lakers situation and it might not be what it was even five years ago but I still think they are people who are going to look at this job and be like, 'I can coach the Lakers.'"

Buha also talked about the Lakers potentially getting Sam Presti as well alongside, Nick Nurse by using Talen Horton-Tucker and a few picks. Now, it might seem a bit of a stretch to be honest. But that's not all: in his most recent article for "The Athletic," Buha made an even bigger claim about a trade package for Russell Westbrook.

Via The Athletic:

"My favorite Westbrook trade package among the rumored options is the Indiana proposal of Malcolm Brogdon and Buddy Hield for Westbrook (and Kendrick Nunn and/or Talen Horton-Tucker).

Brogdon and Hield are both younger and better fits around James and Davis. That trade, coupled with the right head coaching hire, is perhaps the Lakers’ quickest path back to contention.

If the Lakers sign a small forward with their taxpayer mid-level exception, they could enter next season with a starting five of Davis, James, Free Agent X, Hield, Brogdon, Austin Reaves, Stanley Johnson, Horton-Tucker/Nunn and Wenyen Gabriel off the bench (addition to whoever else they add in free agency). That’s already a better opening roster than this season’s opening night roster — by a lot. (They’d lose Malik Monk in this scenario.)

The one downside to the trade for the Lakers is that they would be taking on extra years of salary — Brogdon has three more years on his contract and Hield has two more. But neither player’s deal is an albatross. The Lakers should be able to flip one or both relatively easily if needed.

I’m also intrigued by potential Houston and Charlotte proposals, depending on the specifics of the packages. I think John Wall and Gordon Hayward — despite the respective concerns with durability — can contribute more to next season’s Lakers team than Westbrook can.

In general, I am pro-Westbrook trade. I think the fit, on and off the court, was terrible, and the Lakers will be better next season even if the player they trade him for is worse (though most of the rumored proposals are for better players/fits). 

There’s also a decent chance that an unforeseen suitor emerges."

Now, these are some pretty huge claims and it feels like Buva is overestimating Russ' value a tad bit too much.

No offense to Brodie, he was a sensational player in his prime. And we saw signs of that Russ here and there in the 2021-22 NBA season. But at the end of the day, he didn't play at the level that the franchise expected him to play throughout the season.

So it might be true that the Lakers will most likely trade Westbrook this coming offseason, but getting the likes of Buddy Hield, John Wall, or Gordon Hayward seems like a stretch.