The Los Angeles Lakers trade rumors are running wild with the trade deadline only days away. Los Angeles missed out on Kyrie Irving after it appeared that the Brooklyn Nets were negotiating in bad faith, leaving Rob Pelinka and co. to pivot to other options.
Several names have started to trickle out into the rumor mill, including some pretty awful reported trade talks that would send the franchise backward. It is imperative that Los Angeles does not get complacent and actually makes a move that makes sense for the team.
One potential target that should now officially be on Lakers fans’ radar is guard Terry Rozier. According to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, Terry Rozier’s name has been mentioned in various trade concepts, most notably with the Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves.
If Los Angeles were to trade for Rozier at the deadline there is one potential framework that makes sense for both parties. Here is what that trade would likely look like:
Why the Los Angeles Lakers could say yes to this Terry Rozier trade:
This is not the best possible trade package that the Los Angeles Lakers can make for Russell Westbrook but it is not a terrible one. Los Angeles would be getting a guard in return that has played at an all-star level and would fit the billing of being the third-best player on the Lakers far better than Westbrook does.
There are still some floor-spacing concerns with Rozier as he is not the most prominent three-point shooter but he is still far better than Westbrook. Rozier can instantly swallow Westbrook’s minutes (even potentially as the sixth man) and be far more productive than Russ.
This also ensures that the Lakers get something for Westbrook’s salary figure. If the team lets it expire it will be losing the possibility of parlaying it into other big contracts in the future. By doing this, the Lakers open the door to potentially include Rozier in a package in the future to improve again.
Losing Max Christie is a painful blow to Lakers fans but in reality, he is only under contract for two seasons as a second-round pick, anyway. His timeline doesn’t match up exactly with the Lakers’ title window and we would have another Talen Horton-Tucker situation on our hands where the team would be forced to overpay him as a free agent to keep him around.
Kelly Oubre Jr. and Mason Plumlee are solid role players on expiring contracts that would absolutely help this season without hindering the team’s future.
Why the Charlotte Hornets could say yes to this Terry Rozier trade:
Charlotte does not need to shop Terry Rozier as they are not in a situation where they need to dump his salary. That being said, in the long run, they can probably get the most value for Rozier now while still giving themselves more financial flexibility to work with in the coming years.
While Rozier is a solid player, Charlotte likely isn’t getting an offer as good as those two Lakers draft picks with Max Christie from any other potential suitor in the league. Those Lakers picks have a lot of value and would certainly be worth trading Rozier for.
Sure, they are taking on Westbrook’s salary, but that does not matter much for Charlotte. They are only taking on $3.8 million more in salary and Charlotte is a perfect place for Westbrook to put up garbage-time stats in losing basketball games for the rest of the season.
It helps Charlotte secure good lottery odds for Victor Wembanyama while maximizing the team’s return for Rozier. The Lakers are in a perfect situation (for Charlotte) in which they are desperate enough to offer max value for someone like Rozier.
Rob Pelinka has orchestrated numerous trades in his time running the Lakers. It is time to go through his trade progress report so far in Los Angeles.
If there was ever a time to move on from Rozier, it is now.