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Report: Hornets ‘team to watch’ for potential Westbrook trade

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to pursue trade possibilities for Russell Westbrook this offseason, and they may already have a suitor.

Marc Stein reported on Thursday that the Charlotte Hornets are considered by people around the NBA to be a “team to watch” for Westbrook.

“All-Star guard LaMelo Ball is firmly ensconced as the Hornets’ face of the franchise and on-the-ball star, but one scenario making the rounds is a belief that the Hornets could emerge with Westbrook interest in the name of creating some financial flexibility,” Stein wrote, via Sam Leweck of Lakers Daily.

Westbrook has a $47 million player option for next season. He is widely expected to opt in, which means he will likely be on an expiring contract in 2022-23. The Hornets have Gordon Hayward making $30 million per season, so he’s a possible trade candidate.

The Lakers would love to move on from Westbrook, but his value is not very high at the moment. They may have to be creative to find a deal for the 33-year-old.

Westbrook averaged 18.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game this season. His erratic shooting was one of the biggest reasons for the Lakers’ struggles. He had a somewhat surprising response this week when asked if he wants to remain in L.A.

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