The Hornets are a “team to watch” in the even the Lakers should pursue a trade of point guard Russell Westbrook this offseason, according to Marc Stein of The Stein Line.
Westbrook, 33, has been a clunk fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in LA, as the Lakers failed to qualify for even the play-in tournament. The Lakers reportedly tried to move Westbrook ahead of the February trade deadline, to no avail.
He has a player option for about $47 million on his contract for next season, making the idea of being able to trade Westbrook seemingly unrealistic. He has appeared in 78 games this season, averaging 18.5 points and 7.1 assists, his lowest numbers since 2009-10, when he was in his second year.
“Whether Westbrook remains in Los Angeles will be one of the biggest storylines of the offseason,” wrote Scott Polacek of Bleacher Report.
The Hornets currently have LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier manning the backcourt, so it’s hard to know how Westbrook might fit. Charlotte is building around Ball, last season’s Rookie of the Year, and he is believed to be off-limits.
But given everything that transpired this season, the Lakers may be willing to take back anything they could get for Westbrook, though matching salaries alone will be a tall task.
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