Report: Lakers interested in sign-and-trade for Russell Westbrook

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Report: Lakers interested in sign-and-trade for Westbrook originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

After a disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs, the 2020 NBA champion Lakers are reportedly in the market for a veteran point guard. 

Suns star Chris Paul is on their wish list, but so is Russell Westbrook, per The Undefeated's Marc Spears.

"According to sources, LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers have been on the hunt for veteran point guard, and Paul is on the list," Spears wrote. "There have also been talks about Washington Wizards star Russell Westbrook being a potential candidate to move back home to Los Angeles in a sign-and-trade deal that could include free agent point guard Dennis Schroder, forward Kyle Kuzma and guard Talen Horton-Tucker, sources said."

Westbrook had one of the best seasons of his career in Washington last year. He averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists and 11.5 rebounds while leading the Wizards to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

With the Lakers, Westbrook could give them some much-needed playmaking and scoring alongside LeBron James. Over the last two years, the LA offense has sputtered whenever James was on the bench. 

Schroder, Kuzma and Horton-Tucker represent the Lakers' only real trade package they can offer this summer to upgrade their roster. The Anthony Davis trade cost the Lakers almost all of their future first-round picks and basically all of their young talent in Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart. 

The Wizards have not expressed any interest or desire to trade Westbrook away this offseason. They acquired him right before last season for John Wall and a future first-round pick and have stated their focus on building a contender around him and Bradley Beal. 

Westbrook is owed $44 million next season and has a player option for the 2022-23 season worth $47 million.