The Los Angeles Lakers need to retool and quickly following their disappointing 2021-22 NBA season.
Understandably, the first order of business is trading away Russell Westbrook. There appear to be four teams interested in taking him off L.A.’s hands – but at a steep price.
One squad in particular, the Charlotte Hornets, has emerged as a very legit contender to acquire Westbrook, but the Lakers don’t want what the Hornets reportedly want to send back.
Instead, the Lakers may be interested in a different player.
“[The Hornets] have two hefty contracts on their books that might work as centerpieces of a Westbrook trade in Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier,” Sam Quinn of CBS Sports wrote this week. “In the past five seasons, Rozier has missed just 19 total games. Hayward topped that twice over this season alone, and has obviously missed significantly more time over that extended period. For that reason, Stein reports that the Lakers would prefer Rozier as the centerpiece of a Hornets trade over Hayward.”
Rozier is a fascinating player. On his best days, he is instant offense on demand. He shoots nearly 38 percent from beyond the arc for his career and has no hesitation when it comes to pulling the trigger. On his worst days, he’s a one-dimensional ball hog who disrupts the flows of offenses.
On paper, Rozier is a far better fit for Los Angeles than Westbrook, but would the Hornets trade him? That part is unclear.