The Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets both failed to make the playoffs during the 2021-22 NBA season. They could each benefit from undergoing some changes as they seek to build the necessary roster to compete at a higher level.
There are two players that stand out in particular between the Lakers and Hornets as potential trade candidates in the offseason: Gordon Hayward and Russell Westbrook.
Hayward chose to cash out on this final big deal of his career instead of staying with the Boston Celtics. Now, his former team is playing in the NBA Finals while Hayward continues to struggle with injuries.
The Hornets received a breakout campaign from Miles Bridges in 2021-22 and no longer appear to be in need of Hayward’s services for such a hefty salary. Charlotte could benefit from moving on from him in the offseason if the right deal is available.
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Westbrook and the Lakers took a risk when they facilitated the trade to send him to Los Angeles last offseason. He has been an awkward fit and appears better suited to play elsewhere as they seek to contend during the final stage of LeBron James’ career.
Let’s look at what an NBA trade scenario could look like sending Gordon Hayward from the Charlotte Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers.