Russell Westbrook is currently set to account for just over $47 million against the Lakers’ salary cap in the 2022-23 season.
Needless to say, Los Angeles would love nothing more than to ship the 33-year-old elsewhere to create some cap space. But nobody said it would be easy — finding a taker for Westbrook will be difficult for general manager Rob Pelinka.
Pelinka has reportedly already been making calls around the league, but his proposals have been met with chuckles. At least from the Pacers, who were less than thrilled by Pelinka’s offer. The Lakers offered Westbrook and Talen Horton-Tucker and a 2026 first-round pick, in exchange for Malcolm Brogdon.
Indiana said no.
“They just get a nice chuckle and say ’No thank you, we’ve got better deals on the table than that,’” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony on The Lowe Post podcast. “is probably not going to happen.”
Brogdon, 29, would be a big coup for the Lakers, coming off averaging 19.1 PPG, 5.9 APG and 5.1 RPG during the 2021-22 season. Westbrook, 33, averaged 18.5 PPG, 7.1 APG and 7.4 RPG this past season — comparable to Brogdon’s production.
The main difference, however, is the cap-hit. Brogdon is entering the final year of a four-year, $85 million deal, on the books for $22.6 million next season.
The Lakers, meanwhile, have gone from winning an NBA championship in the 2019-20 season, to outright missing the playoffs this past season. Los Angeles finished 33-49, with both LeBron James and Anthony Davis missing significant time.
Los Angeles needs a change and will look at all options to do so, as Darvin Ham looks to right the ship in his first season as head coach.
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