NBA Trade Rumors: According to a recent report, the Charlotte Hornets could emerge as a landing spot for Russell Westbrook.
Heading into the offseason, Russell Westbrook is one name that is expected to be heavily shopped by the Los Angeles Lakers. However, with a huge $47 million price stage for next season, it’s difficult to see a huge trade market for Russ this summer.
According to Marc Stein, however, one team that could emerge as a landing spot for Russ during the offseason is the Charlotte Hornets. It makes a little sense. The Hornets would benefit from whatever “star power” Russ still has but he likely would need to embrace a bench role for Charlotte.
LaMelo Ball is the team’s starting point guard and there’s no questioning that. It’s difficult to envision a way that both Russ and Ball could coexist on the starting 5, especially considering Russ is not a good shooter or off-ball offensive player.
That said, if Russ is open to accepting a bench role, there’s no reason to believe why a young team like the Hornets wouldn’t want to roll the dice on Russ.
The worst that can happen is that he doesn’t fit and the team could buy him out or waive him as he’s in the final year of his contract. Plus, Russ would be cheap. In all likelihood, the Lakers would take anything in a trade.
Mostly, Los Angeles is looking for some cap relief.
And considering that Russ is an expiring contract, there’s a chance that the Hornets could make it work without hurting their immediate and future cap situation.
Russ is not expected to be back with the Lakers next season. The big question for the team headed into the offseason is whether or not they’re actually going to find a landing spot for him. Could Charlotte be one?