If the Los Angeles Lakers want to increase their chances of winning the NBA Championship next season, they should consider making either of these three moves after the NBA Draft.
The Los Angeles Lakers used their 11th-place finish in the Western Conference this past season to make some changes. Those were firing head coach Frank Vogel and replacing him with Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham. Now, Lakers fans are sitting, waiting to see what general manager Rob Pelinka will do this offseason.
On the night of the NBA Draft, the Lakers have one second-round pick that was acquired in a trade with the Orlando Magic. Yet, there is still plenty of time for the team to make some moves after the event has concluded.
Here are three moves the team should at least consider making following the NBA Draft. Important to note, that these do not all have to happen. They are individual options for the Lakers.
3. Lakers should trade Russell Westbrook…if they can
This could prove to be difficult for the Lakers.
Last season, the Lakers pulled off the blockbuster trade with the Washington Wizards to acquire Russell Westbrook in exchange for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and their 2021 first-round pick. The move was supposed to give the Lakers a super team of Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, one season after they were eliminated in the first-round by the Phoenix Suns.
The move did not work out well, as Westbrook struggled throughout the season. It certainly did not help that the team dealt with a variety of injuries, including to James and Davis.
Through 78 games, Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists while recording a field-goal percentage of 44.4-percent and a three-point percentage of 29.8.
Moving on from Westbrook will be difficult, especially if reports are true that the Lakers are unwilling to trade away future first-round picks to get his contract off the books. But, if they can find a team that is interested enough in Westbrook and where they will not have to give up future draft capital, they should consider. Maybe a team like the Charlotte Hornets?
Again, this will be a tough task for Los Angeles’ front office. The odds are, Westbrook will remain with the Lakers for the 2022-23 season.