As the season continues to move forward, there remain expectations for the Los Angeles Lakers to eventually make a trade to improve this roster. Any serious trade would almost certainly have to include Russell Westbrook and his $47 million expiring contract.
Westbrook’s value has undoubtedly increased due to his much-improved play since moving to a role off the bench and teams have even reportedly begun to inquire about him. But the Lakers point guard is still likely only a possibility for a handful of teams as those looking to tank would almost definitely not have a spot for him.
If this were to be the case, and Westbrook were to be bought out after a potential trade in the future, the most likely landing spot, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, is the Miami Heat:
The Pistons probably don’t view Westbrook, Beverley or Nunn as important rotation players and could look to trade whichever Lakers they receive. If Westbrook is bought out, the buzz around the league has him signing with the Miami Heat.
This actually makes a lot of sense as Westbrook is exactly the type of player that the Heat tend to target. The ‘Heat Culture’ has been spoken about ad nauseam over the past few years and the Lakers guard fits right into that as a player who gives 100 percent at all times on the court and puts in all the necessary work off of it as well.
Of course this is delving into a lot of hypotheticals that have yet to happen. Westbrook remains a member of the Lakers and the team is reportedly looking to wait until Dec. 15 when players who signed this summer become trade eligible before making a deal.
Even though he has played much better as of late, it is still more likely than not that Westbrook will be dealt, or at least the Lakers will try to trade him before the trade deadline in February. Where he ultimately winds up remains a mystery, but joining the Heat does seem like a match made in heaven.
Spurs rejected Lakers trade offer involving Russell Westbrook & lottery-protected pick
Before the season even began, the Lakers looked to deal away Westbrook and one offer that was reportedly made was to the San Antonio Spurs. The Lakers reportedly offered Westbrook and a lottery-protected first-round pick for Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson, but the Spurs declined.
The Spurs wanted an unprotected first-round pick in exchange for taking on Westbrook’s salary, but the Lakers refused to do so and this caused talks between the two sides to stall.
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