NBA Rumors: Kevin Love & Collin Sexton To Lakers, Russell Westbrook To Cavs In Proposed Blockbuster Deal

Russell Westbrook playing for the Lakers
Wikimedia | Denniscabrams

Sports
JB Baruelo

Soon after they got eliminated from playoff contention, rumors surrounding veteran point guard Russell Westbrook and his future with the Los Angeles Lakers have started to heat up. With his disappointing performance and struggle to build chemistry with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, most people believe that the Lakers will try to get rid of Westbrook in the 2022 NBA offseason. Finding a team that will absorb his massive salary won't be easy, but it's still doable, especially if they are willing to give up a future draft asset and take another bad contract in return.

Proposed Sign-And-Trade With Cavaliers

Russell Westbrook attending a Mountain Dew event
Shutterstock | 2914948

One of the potential trade partners for the Lakers in the deal involving Westbrook is the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to Andy Quach of NBA Analysis Network, the Lakers and Cavaliers could explore a blockbuster deal featuring Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Collin Sexton this summer.

"A sign-and-trade that sends Kevin Love and Collin Sexton to the Los Angeles Lakers in return for Russell Westbrook and a future unprotected first-round pick makes sense for both teams," Quach wrote.

Before they could execute the trade, they must first convince Sexton to agree to a sign-and-trade deal to Los Angeles.

Lakers Replace Russell Westbrook With Two Starters

Kevin Love taking a free throw
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The proposed blockbuster deal would be worth exploring for the Lakers, especially if they intend to remain a competitive team in the Western Conference. Though it would cost them a future first-round pick, the suggested trade would enable the Lakers to swap Westbrook for two starting-caliber players who would help James and Davis reclaim their throne in the 2022-23 NBA season. Sexton could try to fill the hole that Westbrook would be leaving at the Lakers' starting point guard position, while Love could team up with Davis in their frontcourt.

Kevin Love Reunites With LeBron James

Kevin Love driving into the basket
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The hypothetical blockbuster deal would also feature the reunion of James and Love in Los Angeles. James and Love played together in Cleveland for four seasons where they made four consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won an NBA championship title in 2016. Love may have already shown a massive decline in his performance, but he's still a reliable contributor on the offensive end of the floor.

This season, the 33-year-old power forward averaged 13.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 43.0 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from beyond the arc.

Why The Cavaliers Would Make The Trade

Russell Westbrook holding the ball
Wikimedia | Bagumba

Though Westbrook no longer fits the timeline of their young core, the proposed blockbuster deal would still make sense for the Cavaliers. Aside from obtaining financial flexibility in the summer of 2023 and acquiring a future first-rounder, Quach believes that the arrival of Westbrook could fill the Cavaliers' need for another playmaker and ball-handler next season.

"With Collin Sexton injured and Caris LeVert failing to find his niche in the Land, Russell Westbrook might be a great candidate to elevate the Cavs’ ceiling," Quach said. "Russ has plenty of faults, but most of them would be negated with the Cavs. They have plenty of outside shooting to clear the paint for him. They have athletic bigs that can screen and roll hard to the rim for lobs and dump-offs from Westbrook going downhill. And most importantly, they have stout defenders all over the roster that can make up for his lapses in attention."

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