NBA Trade Rumors: Is Westbrook on the move again?

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Dan Halverson

January 6th, 2022

The NBA is great entertainment for two reasons. First, the action on the court is unparalleled and features some of the most amazing athletes in the world. Second, roster composition is in a constant state of flux, which creates tremendous offseason and in-season speculation.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the juiciest trade rumors from around the Association.

Hawks are in the market for a defender

The Atlanta Hawks were serious contenders in the playoffs last year, pushing the eventual champion Milwaukee Bucks to six games in the Eastern Conference Finals. They made an impressive second-half push to get themselves into the postseason, and continued their hot streak up until they ran into the best team in the league in 2021.

With young stars Trae Young and John Collins back this year, as well as solid young wing role players, the Hawks were hopeful they could run things back with just as much success this year. Unfortunately that has not been the case, and now they may be looking to part with veteran Danilo Gallinari and/or young forward Cam Reddish in order to shore up their poor defense.

If the Hawks want to put together any kind of repeat performance of last year’s postseason success, something needs to change, and a passionate defender might be exactly what this young roster needs.

Kings Making Waves? 

The Sacramento Kings have not been a contender for a very long time. They currently sit 10th in the Western Conference at 16-23 and have a very strong backcourt but unconvincing front court play.

Their backcourt stars are De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, an exciting and complementary pair that features lightning quick speed. Haliburton fell in the draft because of his unconventional shooting form, but his rookie year was a surprising success, and he has been considered untouchable due to his value on a rookie contract.

As the Kings look to actually make the postseason and be a relevant franchise, however, both Fox and Haliburton are now reportedly being made available for a trade.

With rookie Davion Mitchell showing flashes of stardom and sharpshooter Buddy Hield also on the roster, the Kings can afford to lose Fox or Haliburton in the hopes of acquiring more frontcourt depth.

The most likely candidate to join the Kings as of this writing is Philadelphia 76ers disgruntled star Ben Simmons.

Will Lakers part ways with Westbrook?

The Los Angeles Lakers will always be involved in trade rumors regardless of their relative lack of draft capital and expendable assets. They basically sold the farm to pair Anthony Davis and LeBron James together a few years ago, and then sold everything under the couch cushions to bring in Russell Westbrook this past offseason.

Rumors persist that LA could be looking to make another move. One scenario could involve splitting with Westbrook, while the other involves a move of Talen Horton-Tucker and/or Kent Bazemore. This team is just 20-19, Davis is hurt once again, and Westbrook and James have been an awkward fit, to say the least.

At sixth in the Western Conference, the current Lakers’ lineup looks wholly inadequate for the likes of the Warriors and Suns. And while they only have so many trade bullets in the chamber, it should come as no surprise if they threaten to fire them any chance they get.

The Rockets are a Mess

The Rockets made the decision to blow up their team when they dealt away James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets a couple years ago. The attempt to out-Warrior the Warriors with Chris Paul, Harden, Eric Gordon, and PJ Tucker fell short, as the squad lost in seven games to the Warriors in the 2018 Western Conference Finals.

Since Harden’s departure, the team has basically been in tank-mode. Now, as one might have expected, some of the young players on the roster are getting increasingly frustrated with the losing. 21-year-old Kevin Porter Jr. and 26-year-old Christian Wood both had recent outbursts that could easily see them depart H-Town for good.

Wood is the more notable player of the two, as he came on strong in 2021 and possesses the kind of athleticism every team covets. Look for plenty of suitors to come calling and pick the scraps of this Rockets team that sits dead last in the Western Conference.