The Los Angeles Lakers have been a weak team this season. Despite many thinking they would be in contention for the championship early in the season, they missed the playoffs, finishing the year 33-49.
Many analysts argue that point guard Russell Westbrook has been one of the team’s biggest problems. He is generally considered a poor defender, and it is clear that he is no longer a superstar.
Perhaps the best decision for the Los Angeles Lakers would be to move him. A hypothetical trade scenario could include Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton, who becomes a restricted free agent during the offseason and was recently linked with the Lakers. Here is the theoretical basis of the deal.
Los Angeles Lakers Gets: Colleen Sexton, Cedi Osman, Moses Brown
Cleveland Cavaliers receive: Russell Westbrook, future first-round pick
Los Angeles Lakers got a good young scorer and some tough young players
Colleen Sexton will obviously be the main link in this deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. Collin Sexton has been injured for most of this season, but when healthy, he is an elite three-level scorer as a defender. Collin Sexton is a fantastic jump shooter, but he can also use his speed to get to the ring and strike skillfully. There is no doubt that he would be the perfect third choice behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis and would add a proven shotmaker to the team. Collin Sexton’s deal will be done by signing and exchanging. Collin Sexton averaged 24.3 points per game, 3.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists in his last healthy season in 2020/21.
The rest of this trading package includes two young players in Cedi Osman and Moses Brown. Both are players who could potentially become good role players on the team and give the Lakers much-needed youth and athleticism.
Cedi Osman developed into a reliable shooter during his tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 10.7 points per game on 35.7% of his 3-point range. He would be a good intermediate player for the Lakers, and there is no doubt that the Lakers could use a young shooter who would fit in well next to their stars. Moses Brown is an athletic big man who has averaged 6.4 points per game and 5.3 rebounds for the Cleveland Cavaliers this season and would be a good option as a backup big man.
Overall, this deal will allow the Los Angeles Lakers to reschedule Russell Westbrook’s expiring contract and get some good young players in return. While the loss of a future first-round pick will be painful, the Los Angeles Lakers will have an elite young guard in Collin Sexton who can make a difference now and help them win a championship.
Cleveland Cavaliers Get Experienced Veteran, Valuable Pick
For the Cleveland Cavaliers, this trade is mostly about adding a point guard with some veteran experience in Russell Westbrook, as well as gaining a valuable pick in exchange for Collin Sexton.
The Los Angeles Lakers’ future selection is likely to be valued by other teams due to their situation. Their roster this season was mostly veterans, and LeBron James isn’t getting any younger. Their future first round pick will most likely be won in a lottery. The Cleveland Cavaliers have the potential to be a playoff team that also has a lottery pick, which is a good position.
Russell Westbrook may not have been the right player for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he could have been a solid sixth man for the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing the best minutes as a stand-in behind All-Star point guard Darius Garland. Russell Westbrook’s defining traits are his athleticism and his efforts on the basketball court, and he would be a terrific spark plug coming off the bench. Russell Westbrook would most likely have received the Sixth Person of the Year award if he had accepted the role.
Overall, this trade could help the Cavaliers make the playoffs now and possibly add a valuable prospect in a few years. They already have two All-Stars and up-and-coming players on their roster, and another proven veteran could be just what they need to take the next step.