The 2022-23 NBA season is just 32 days away from Friday, but there will still likely be plenty more transactions as teams finalize their rosters for the new season.
Russell Westbrook has been a very hot topic over the offseason, but he still remains on the Los Angeles Lakers roster.
Recently, Jovan Buha and Sam Amick of The Athletic (h/t NBACentral), reported that the Lakers, New York Knicks, Utah Jazz and Charlotte Hornets discussed a four-team trade before Donovan Mitchell was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Buha and Amick (via their article in The Athletic): “The Lakers discussed a four-team trade with Utah, New York and Charlotte ahead of the Donovan-Mitchell-to-Cleveland trade, according to league sources. One preliminary iteration of a four-team deal would have had Bojan Bogdanović and Terry Rozier going back to Los Angeles”
The Lakers are in a tough spot, because they are way over the salary cap, and Westbrook will make over $47 million next season.
Based on their reporting, it seems as if a deal for Westbrook is not going to happen.
Buha and Amick (via their article in The Athletic): “The Lakers will only make a trade if they calculate that it’ll improve this season’s roster enough to warrant the possible downside of taking on longer-term salary and/or giving up their valuable picks at the end of the decade. As things stand, it seems unlikely they find a deal that reaches that lofty threshold. Their motivations could change as the season unfolds and they get a better sense of the roster’s potential.”
That being said, the blame that Westbrook took from the media and fans last season was overkill.
The nine-time NBA All-Star averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists per contest in 78 games.
They had a terrible season (finishing 33-49), but All-Star Anthony Davis missed 42 games, so if he had been healthy, who knows how they would have played.
When LeBron James is on a roster, all that team needs to do is get into the NBA Playoffs to give themselves a chance.
James has won four NBA Championships, been to the NBA Finals ten times and from 2011-18, he made the NBA Finals eight times in a row.
With Westbrook, Davis and James all healthy in 2022-23, there is no reason not to consider them as a threat to win the title.
James is 37 years old, but he averaged 30.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists per contest last season.
Their season probably falls in the hands of Davis much more than Westbrook.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, and this will not be the last report about Westbrook’s future in Los Angeles.
Rozier is a very talented player for the Hornets, but it would make sense why they would be open to moving him.
The former Louisville star is due at least $47 million over the next two seasons, and the Hornets have not been a playoff team in either of the three seasons he has been with the franchise.
Meanwhile, the Jazz have gone into a complete rebuilding mode as they traded franchise cornerstones Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
Therefore, there is no sense in them keeping 33-year-old Bogdanovic, who will make over $19 million next season.
He could potentially net them a very nice return in a trade.