I have been hearing a handful of names from Myles Turner to Jerami Grant and even Ben Simmons although I could never envision Russell Westbrook and Joel Embiid on the same team after their confrontation when Westbrook was a OKC Thunder. Westbrook would also be a awkward fit in Philadelphia, as much as a lot of Laker fans want Russell Westbrook out of Los Angeles due to insane amount of turnovers I just don’t see a team starved enough for a star to want to take on that 44 million dollar which will jump up to close to 50 million next season if I am not mistaking. LeBron wanted Russ in Los Angeles and Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss trusted LeBron’s judgement which right now seems poor but Westbrook really is not the problem. With Russ you take the good with the bad and luckily enough the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis who are at the fore front in Los Angeles.
Sure the Lakers could use big athletic forwards who could defend at a high level like Jerami Grant,Ben Simmons,and even Harrisn Barnes but their real target should be Gordon Hayward who is hooping in Charlotte with LaMelo Ball. So the three-team trade would send Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn to the Boston Celtics with Al Horford and Dennis Schroder going over to the Charlotte Hornets. The Los Angeles Lakers would receive Gordon Hayward who is a very competent wing who can defend multiple positions,create his own offense and also get others shots. Hayward has always been a good all around player and would serve as great insurance in case Russ and Melo don’t have it going in the playoffs and leave Bron and AD on a island.
For the Boston Celtics rumor is they are not looking to move Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum is absolutely off limits, they are instead looking to add a third start and Talen could evolve into that third star. There is just not enough room for Talen to fully blossom being that he is playing two of the most ball dominant basketball players in NBA history in LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. Talen needs the ball and Boston is in dire need of his skillset being that Talen projects to be a better passer and scorer than Marcus Smart ever will become. No knock on Marcus, the Celtics just need a guard like Talen Horton Tucker at the point guard position being that he is more inclined with a point-guard skill set unlike Marcus who thrives more with the ball out of his hands.
As for the Charlotte Hornets the Kelly Oubre Jr signing was a shocker but I would like to see him in a front court with Miles Bridges and the incoming Al Horford who would bring veteran leadership to a Hornets roster in dire need of it. Not that Gordon Hayward didn’t provide leadership for Charlotte but moving Hayward would open up more minutes for recently drafted James Bouknight as well. The Boston Celtics would be taking on Talen Horton-Tucker who is making just about 20 million less than Gordon Hayward and Al Horford so sending over maybe Mason Plumlee,Kendrick Nunn,PJ Washington,or Ish Smith would be an option since everyone beyond Russell Westbrook,LeBron James,and Anthony Davis is practically on a minimum salary on the Lakers. The Lakers only options are either improve the supporting cast around Russ,LeBron,and AD or shake the NBA by trading away Anthony Davis which I’m sure won’t be popular in LeBron’s eyes. If you ask me you don’t trade away a player with Anthony Davis’s skillset regardless of his lackadaisical ways.
Gordon Hayward is the perfect fit from a personnel standpoint, he has a high basketball IQ and has a team first approach on the basketball court. He can serve as a drive and kick-out target for LeBron and Russ and knock down jump-shots which is just not Talen Horton-Tucker’s game. With LeBron,Russ,and AD you need floor spacing and someone who can make plays as well. It’s unfair to make Carmelo Anthony,Malik Monk, and Talen Horton-Tucker who will be going out in this trade have to focus on playing roles they are not comfortable with. It’s bad enough head coach Frank Vogel isn’t a offensive guru like Steve Kerr is in Golden State, it’s best the Lakers give Frank the right personnel offensively so he can focus more on defense which is Frank’s strength as a coach. With Hayward the Laker offense will become fluid and well oiled machine heading into the 2022 NBA Playoffs.
To conclude I believe this trade improves the Celtics,Lakers,and Hornets. The Celtics and Hornets are two Eastern Conference teams in the middle of the pack at the moment awaiting one of the other young talents blossoms in order to make a lead in the East. For Boston Talen could be that third piece beyond Tatum and Brown, as for the Hornets it seems like LaMelo and Bridges are the 1-2 punch in Charlotte with hopes of Bouknight and Oubre Jr rounding out the nucleus as they look to compete in the East for years to come. As for the Lakers the ultimate plan was to get LeBron in Los Angeles coupled with another star which they accomplished by bringing over Anthony Davis. I predict LeBron and AD have a 2 year window beyond this season, getting Gordon Hayward gives them a serious shot at at least 1 more title in Los Angeles before the window closes. I’ll guarantee you they win the title this season if they trade for Gordon Hayward, till next time.