The Los Angeles Lakers definitely need to add more personnel. There is a lot of talk about who they may deal as other clubs make moves and the trade deadline draws near. In fact, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will likely be mentioned frequently in the following days. This is especially after they missed out on Kyrie Irving. The Lakers have more concerns than just who they can sign, of course. This leads us to Russell Westbrook. Here we will look at the Lakers’ must-do Westbrook trades after the Irving to Mavs deal.

The situation with Westbrook is complex. His high salary raises concerns, and he has faced criticism for his performance. However, since adjusting to a bench role, he has been a valuable contributor to the team. Russell Westbrook is averaging 15.7 points, 7.6 assists, and 6.3 rebounds in his 15th NBA season, shooting 41.2 percent.

Despite this, his large salary and the team’s success with him on the court make it a difficult decision. He is set to become a free agent after opting in for a $47.1 million contract this season.

As for the Lakers, they are seeking to improve their 25-29 win-loss record and are looking to make moves before the Thursday deadline. Take note that the acquisition of Rui Hachimura from the Wizards shows their intention. However, they will need to make more significant changes to have a chance of making the postseason. We’ll see how things go, though their most urgent concern is trying to move Westbrook.

Now, let us look at the Lakers’ must-do Russell Westbrook trades.

Lakers’ must-do Russell Westbrook trades

1. Westbrook to the Jazz for Mike Conley, Malik Beasley, Kelly Olynyk

The Utah Jazz faced speculation of tanking this season, but then they got off to a strong start. At the beginning of the year, it seemed like they could contend in the playoffs. As the season has progressed, however, the Jazz have lived up to low expectations.

On the other end, the Lakers’ Russell Westbrook experiment has not been successful. That’s a known fact for some time now. LeBron James needs floor spacers in his game, and this prospective deal provides him with plenty of options. Conley fits the bill as a smart player and elite shooter, while Olynyk adds front-court spacing. Both will enhance James’ playmaking ability. Additionally, Beasley brings athleticism and shooting to the guard rotation.

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

2. Westbrook to the Hornets for Terry Rozier, Kelly Oubre, Gordon Hayward

The Lakers may also make a deal with the Charlotte Hornets involving Russell Westbrook. With a 15-40 record and a second-to-last standing in the Eastern Conference, the Hornets would benefit from a true rebuilding mode. They also have a number of veteran players who could attract other teams, such as Rozier, Oubre., Hayward, and even Mason Plumlee. By trading for Westbrook, the Hornets would eventually free up cap space for their rebuild and remove his contract from their books.

Again, Westbrook’s time in Los Angeles has been unsuccessful after being acquired from the Washington Wizards in 2021. Despite being a nine-time All-Star, he has struggled to find his place on the team. He has also recorded his lowest marks in points and field-goal percentage since his rookie year.

3. Westbrook to the Bulls for Zach LaVine, Alex Caruso

Keep in mind that there is no advantage for the Lakers to tank at this point in the season. A top pick in the draft would be swapped with the Pelicans’ pick near the bottom anyway.

Therefore, this potential deal makes the Lakers stronger. LaVine would make an ideal partner for James. LaVine has the ability to score independently, while also providing space for James to make plays. It would also be great to have Caruso back on the Lakers. He is known as one of the top 3-and-D guards in the NBA. Many Lakers fans would love to see him back in purple and gold. This deal would potentially enable the Lakers to mount a memorable run for a play-in spot in the back half of this season.

4. Westbrook back to the Rockets for Eric Gordon, Mo Harkless, Jae’Sean Tate, Jabari Smith

Gordon’s frustration with the Rockets’ situation certainly cannot be placed on him. The team is not only undergoing a rebuilding process. It is also intentionally losing games to increase its chances of drafting a top prospect, such as Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson, this year.

Right now, Gordon offers a mentorship role in the locker room for a team like the Lakers. Additionally, he also offers strong shooting to space the floor. That’s something the Lakers urgently need. He’s also a solid perimeter defender. As such, he would make a valuable addition to a team like the Lakers.

Harkless, Tate, and Smith would also be interesting and potentially impactful additions. At the very least, they can be tradable assets in the off-season as well.