NBA Rumors: Lakers Could Trade Russell Westbrook To Knicks For 'Secondary Talents'

Russell Westbrook making plays for the Lakers
Getty | Ronald Martinez

Sports
JB Baruelo

The Los Angeles Lakers traded for Russell Westbrook last summer with the hope that pairing him with LeBron James and Anthony Davis would give them a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title in the 2021-22 NBA season. Unfortunately, things didn't go as the Lakers expected. Aside from his inconsistent performance on both ends of the floor, Westbrook is also noticeably struggling to make himself fit with James and Davis on the court.

The season is yet to come to an end, but rumors have already started to circulate about Westbrook's inevitable departure from the Lakers in the 2022 NBA offseason.

Lakers Could Dump Russell Westbrook To Knicks

Russell Westbrook finding his way into the basket
Getty | Elsa

Finding Westbrook a new home won't be easy, but it's not entirely impossible. In a recent article, Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network suggested potential offseason options for the Purple and Gold to dump Westbrook and his massive salary. These include trading Westbrook to the New York Knicks in exchange for "secondary talents."

"One or two other teams would likely be involved in a Russell Westbrook to New York trade if it were to happen this upcoming offseason, but the secondary talents the Lakers could pursue include: Kemba Walker, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel, and Derrick Rose. None of those five players change the Lakers outlook dramatically, but they present means to cap space and more importantly, can provide depth that they do not have on the bench right now."

Why The Lakers Would Make The Trade

Russell Westbrook driving into the basket
Getty | Elsa

Trading Westbrook to Knicks for "secondary talents" would make a lot of sense for the Lakers, especially if they won't need to sacrifice a future first-round pick in the process. Kemba Walker, Derrick Rose, Evan Fournier, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel may not be as accomplished as Westbrook, but they are more comfortable taking supporting roles.

Walker and Rose could try to fill the hole that Westbrook would be leaving in the Lakers' backcourt, while Fournier and Burks could address the much-needed improvement in terms of floor spacing around James and Davis. Noel could serve as the primary backup for Davis or his new frontcourt partner if the Lakers decide to part ways with Dwight Howard next summer.

Knicks Get A Legitimate Superstar

Russell Westbrook running the Lakers' offense
Getty | Ronald Martinez

The potential deal would fulfill the Knicks' dream of adding a legitimate superstar to their roster. Westbrook may have been a huge disappointment in Los Angeles, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the same thing would happen when he starts playing in New York. While he's viewed as the odd man on the Lakers, his critics couldn't erase the fact that he's a former MVP, a nine-time NBA All-Star, and a two-time All-NBA First Team.

Despite his struggle in the 2021-22 NBA season, Westbrook is still capable of performing at a high level. Adding Westbrook may not be enough to turn the Knicks into an instant title contender, but it would give them a better chance of reaching the playoffs next year.

Russell Westbrook Would Welcome A Trade To New York

Russell Westbrook celebrating a successful play
Getty | MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Westbrook would definitely love the idea of being traded to the Knicks in the 2022 NBA offseason. Aside from having the opportunity to play for another big-market team, it would also give him the chance to become the team's main guy once again. Being the No. 1 option on the offensive end of the floor would enable Westbrook to maximize his full potential on the court. If he plays well with the Knicks next season, it would help him land a decent contract when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2023.

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