The New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers are both teams that have been disappointing this year. The Knicks are currently the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference after making the playoffs last year, while the Lakers are currently the 9th seed in the Western Conference after being expected to be championship contenders.
Perhaps the two franchises could help one another by making a trade. Our trade scenario would feature Russell Westbrook moving to the Knicks, while Julius Randle and Evan Fournier would be making their way to the Lakers.
New York Knicks Receive: Russell Westbrook
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Julius Randle, Evan Fournier
Russell Westbrook Brings Leadership And Fire To A Young Knicks Squad
There is no doubt that veteran leadership and the players one surrounds a young core with are both important factors in development. Perhaps Russell Westbrook can play a mentorship role for the young Knicks prospect on the roster. He is well-respected around the league, and plenty of former teammates have had only good things to say about Westbrook.
Russell Westbrook has had a rough year with the Los Angeles Lakers, but on the New York Knicks, he could potentially be a better fit. He would have shooters in Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett, and he would also have some solid athletic big men in Obi Toppin and Mitchell Robinson. All four of those players would benefit greatly from his playmaking. Russell Westbrook is generally viewed as a player who loves to assist others for baskets, and he could definitely help the Knicks have an easier time scoring.
From a financial standpoint, this deal could also be beneficial for the New York Knicks. The Knicks would move on from long-term salary in this deal (Fournier and Randle contracts) and free up more playing time for their young players.
Russell Westbrook has a team option for next season and will be an expiring contract at that point. If he plays well on the Knicks this year, his trade value will certainly improve, and it will be even better when he's on an expiring contract.
Overall, this deal could definitely have some benefits for the New York Knicks. They would get a veteran leader who could help set their young squad on the right path, while also shedding long-term contracts and focusing on the future.
Los Angeles Lakers Get Two Impact Players To Help Their Playoff Run
Many people believe that one of the reasons that the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled is due to Russell Westbrook's poor fit on the roster. This trade would alleviate those concerns and add two impact players to the Los Angeles Lakers roster.
Julius Randle was an All-Star last season, but he has failed to reach those heights this year. However, he is still averaging 18.9 PPG, 9.9 RPG, and 5.1 APG, albeit inefficiently. Perhaps he will do better as a third option on the Los Angeles Lakers behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as there would be less defensive attention from opposing teams on him.
Evan Fournier is a capable shooting wing, who is currently averaging 14.1 PPG while shooting 40.2% from beyond the arc. He would benefit greatly from LeBron James' playmaking, as he would get a lot of open shots on the perimeter. Fournier can also create his own shot when necessary.
A starting lineup featuring LeBron James, Malik Monk, Evan Fournier, Julius Randle, and Anthony Davis would definitely be a good point on which to reset the season. There is no doubt that it would be tough to face for any team in the Western Conference. If there's a chance for the Los Angeles Lakers to potentially make a deal with this framework, they should absolutely take it.