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#pounditSunday, November 27, 2022

Report: Lakers not interested in 1 particular Russell Westbrook trade

Russell Westbrook dribbling

Dec 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) in action during the game against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

While they often say that beggars can’t be choosers, the Los Angeles Lakers are trying to be both.

Veteran NBA writer Marc Stein said this week in a post to his Substack page that the Lakers are not likely to accept a trade with the Charlotte Hornets centered around Gordon Hayward in exchange for Westbrook. Stein also indicates that the Lakers may be more interested in Hornets guard Terry Rozier to headline a potential Westbrook return package.

The ex-All-Star Hayward had been mentioned as a potential trade target for the Lakers, which makes sense since the two years and $61 million Hayward has left on his contract could help grease the wheels on a Westbrook trade. But Hayward is 32 with a CVS receipt-esque injury history. Rozier, whose new four-year, $96 million contract extension kicks in next season, would indeed be a higher-upside piece for the Lakers take back in an ideal world.

Granted, there are no real indications that the Hornets, who are a playoff-caliber team, want to give up Rozier, a starting 2 guard who can score 20-plus on any given night. If the Lakers can’t strike a deal with Charlotte, they may have to turn to one of the other interested Westbrook suitors instead.

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