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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Lakers being linked to ex-All-Star forward

Rob Pelinka at a press conference

The Los Angeles Lakers sank like a rock this season with a roster full of 30-something former All-Stars. Now their solution may be to [checks notes] bring in another 30-something former All-Star.

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported this week that Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward might be interested in a change of scenery amid the emergence of Miles Bridges and continued ascendance of LaMelo Ball. Fischer adds that league executives believe Hayward could be a fit for the Lakers in a potential trade package for Russell Westbrook.

Other reports also recently emerged suggesting that the Hornets are one of the teams that could potentially take on Westbrook’s contract this summer. Westbrook will be owed roughly $47.1 million next season if he picks up his player option, as is expected. That makes Hayward, who has two years and about $61.5 million left on his own contract, an interesting piece that could be used to facilitate a trade.

Granted, Hayward is already 32 years old and has a lengthy injury rap sheet, including having missed nearly half of the 2021-22 season with a foot issue. The Lakers had a lot of those types of players on their roster this year, which contributed to their doom.

On the other hand though, anyone might be worth it at this point if it means shedding Westbrook. If they do trade for Hayward this summer, the Lakers should probably just make sure not to invite him over for Thanksgiving at LeBron James’ house.

Photo: Sep 27, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka answers a question during the Lakers media day at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, CA. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

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