This Cavaliers-Lakers Trade Is Focused on Russell Westbrook

Washington Wizards, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Rumors, Chicago Bulls
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: G Russell Westbrook, G Kent Bazemore
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: G Collin Sexton, F/C Kevin Love, F Cedi Osman

This would be the second blockbuster trade that the Los Angeles Lakers pulled off this offseason involving Russell Westbrook. He heads back to the Eastern Conference in this deal, landing with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

There’s a lot to digest in this trade, which is motivated mostly by salary. There are not many players whose salaries can match up with Westbrook, which makes creating trades difficult. Los Angeles had to surrender three rotation players to acquire him.

In this deal, the Lakers find a salary that matches, Kevin Love. If Love is not going to negotiate a buyout with the Cavaliers, the Lakers could look to acquire him as part of a trade package for Westbrook with Collin Sexton being the centerpiece.

Sexton is in contract negotiations with the Cavaliers, but if those don’t go well, Los Angeles could swoop in and try acquiring him. Getting out of Love’s contract might be enough of an incentive to include him in a deal with Sexton.

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Kent Bazemore and Cedi Osman are included as salary fillers. Bazemore is on a veteran’s minimum deal while Osman has three seasons remaining on his four-year, approximately $31.1 million deal he signed in 2020. But, his 2022-23 contract is not fully guaranteed. June 23rd his contract becomes fully guaranteed, so they could use him essentially as an expiring contract.

How are both teams impacted by this trade? Let’s take a look, starting with the Cavaliers.