How Russell Westbrook trade impacts Dallas Mavericks: 3. Lakers all-in
Los Angeles is all-in to win the championship after acquiring Westbrook. They traded three rotation players for the All-Star point guard. The Lakers will miss Caldwell-Pope’s ability to space the floor. They wanted a ball-handler and playmaker to put next to LeBron James, though.
The Lakers owe $120.8 million to just their three star players this season. The only other player they will have under contract is Marc Gasol. Los Angeles will be limited to bring back their free agents, the $4.9 million taxpayer mid-level exception, and veteran minimum deals to round out their roster behind LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers added a third star after being knocked out in the first round of the playoffs this year. It is a risky move. Trading for a 33-year-old point guard always creates some, but Los Angeles wants to win another championship. They will need to round out their roster with impactful players this summer, but they are certainly all-in to bring it back to Los Angeles in 2022.
The Dallas Mavericks are looking to jump into title contention. They know the Lakers, Nets, Bucks, and Suns will be in the mix. The Russell Westbrook trade further cements Los Angeles as a contender.