The biggest goal for the Los Angeles Lakers this season is to build a team that can actually contend for a championship next season and the most important move in accomplishing that goal is trading Russell Westbrook.
A Westbrook trade is definitely easier said than done and there are actually reasons against trading Westbrook if there really is no market for the former MVP.
That market could end up getting smaller as well and it could get smaller because of the now-former Lakers head coach, Frank Vogel. Vogel was fired by the Lakers with a big reason why reportedly being his inability to make the Westbrook situation work in LA.
Vogel is a recent championship coach and he is going to get interest from teams throughout the league. One of those teams is the Charlotte Hornets, as Vogel reportedly interviewed with the Hornets for their head coaching vacancy.
The Lakers can kiss the Hornets goodbye as a trade partner for Russell Westbrook if Frank Vogel is hired.
Frank Vogel obviously is not the general manager and Mitch Kupchak can still do whatever he wants to the roster. That being said, is is undoubtedly going to get Vogel’s feedback and that feedback about Russ is not going to be good.
It is no secret that the Westbrook situation was a disaster in LA last season and that Vogel and Westbrook themselves did not mesh together very well. If Vogel gets the job, he is definitely going to let his opinion be known about Westbrook and that opinion will not be a good one.
The idea of a potential Westbrook trade for Charlotte would be to flip Gordon Hayward to get salary relief next summer and potentially get a draft pick as well. If the Rockets were asking for a pick swap for John Wall then the Hornets are going to ask for a pick for Gordon Hayward.
Sure, the Hornets could buy Westbrook out, but it seems more likely that the team would run it back with Hayward and Vogel calling the shots, hoping to make depth signings around the core.
Vogel has not gotten the job yet so there is still hope that the Hornets could be a potential suitor for Russell Westbrook. But if he does get that job then he will get the last laugh over his former team, potentially swaying the Hornets not to take on Westbrook.