The Los Angeles Lakers are going to have to get creative if they are going to upgrade their roster before the NBA trade deadline in February. They do not have many assets to build a package around outside of Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and a first-round pick a half-decade in the future.
If that isn’t something teams are interested in acquiring, they will be hard-pressed to make a deal. The only other way they could reshape the roster in season is if they were to find a taker for Russell Westbrook, but that is easier said than done.
Westbrook’s contract will be difficult to move. Not only does he have a gargantuan number this season, as he is owed $44.2 million, but he is also owed more than $47 million next season on a player option.
That is a lot of money, but Westbrook has shown that he can still help a team be competitive and win some games in recent seasons. The fit with the Lakers has not been ideal alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but he does still bring some positives to the table.
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Pinpointing which team could take advantage of the positives that he provides, however, is not an easy task. There are teams with players on contracts as big as his, but those teams do not need a player such as Westbrook.
But, that shouldn’t deter the Los Angeles Lakers from making some calls. Here are two players that the Lakers should target in a return package for Russell Westbrook.