Pelicans Suggested As Trade Suitor For Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

A lot of people are wondering what the Los Angeles Lakers are going to do this offseason with point guard Russell Westbrook. Things didn’t go well during the 2021-22 NBA season, as Westbrook had one of the least productive seasons of his career and a team that was predicted by many to contend didn’t even make the postseason.

Following his exit interview on Monday, Westbrook had some scathing comments to share. He certainly sounded like a person that knows he is on his way out, as he commented on a lot of things throughout the season, even taking some shots at LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

That trio has a lot of star power and will all be in the Hall of Fame one day, but their skill sets did not mesh. It led to some ugly performances on the court, and that is when they even played together. While Westbrook was healthy throughout the season, the same cannot be said about James and Davis, who played in 56 and 40 games, respectively.

Despite that, it doesn’t sound like that duo is going anywhere. Los Angeles will instead try their hardest to move Westbrook and restock the roster with rotation pieces. That is certainly easier said than done, with Westbrook’s $47 million player option for the 2022-23 season the biggest hurdle to jump over.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: 2 Dream Trade Packages For Lakers To Offload Russell Westbrook

Finding a team that can afford to take on that deal is hard enough; finding a team that is actually willing to acquire Westbrook is even tougher. As a result, the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly considered other options. According to Marc Stein on his Substack, one option considered is using the stretch provision on Westbrook.

That would enable Los Angeles to spread Westbrook’s cap hit out over three years, getting them under the luxury tax and opening up some money to spend. If that occurs, Westbrook will likely have some suitors in free agency. One potential team that could show interest is the New Orleans Pelicans.

New Orleans is taking part in the NBA Play-In Tournament in large part because of injuries of their own. Zion Williamson hasn’t played in a single game this season, while Brandon Ingram also missed time. When Ingram was on the court, the Pelicans did have a winning record, so there is something to work with on this roster.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: 2 Dream Trade Packages For Lakers To Offload Russell Westbrook

Point guard is a need for the New Orleans Pelicans, as they do not start a traditional point guard. Jose Alvarado and Devonte’ Graham come off the bench with CJ McCollum and Ingram handling the playmaking duties in the starting five.

Adding Westbrook to a backcourt with McCollum would create a similar dynamic to what Westbrook had with the Washington Wizards alongside Bradley Beal. Add in Ingram, hopefully, a healthy Williamson and Jonas Valanciunas, and New Orleans could have a dangerous starting five with excellent depth coming off the bench.

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