Russell Westbrook Linked to Knicks If Donovan Mitchell Trade Happens

By: The Trend Wire

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According to NBA insider Marc Stein, if the New York Knicks successfully negotiate a trade for Donovan Mitchell, Russell Westbrook may be the next target.

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If the Knicks can acquire Mitchell, a source informed Stein that they would want to "explore alternatives to trade away Julius Randle." 

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The three remaining years of Randle's initial four-year, $117 million contract

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which he inked last offseason after his All-Star campaign in 2020–21, might be paid off with a swap for Westbrook.

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Westbrook, who chose to enter the final year of his deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, will earn $47.1 million in 2022–2023.

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As Stein pointed out, the Lakers will attempt to use Westbrook as soon as possible in a deal for Kyrie Irving, but Randle might also be of interest.

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According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the Lakers and Brooklyn Nets' negotiations have "not proceeded" as of Saturday.

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Los Angeles might still be eager to trade for Westbrook after a dismal 2021–22 season in which the team finished 33–49 and failed to make the playoffs.

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Randle could bring a double-double threat and spent his first four NBA seasons with the Lakers as a fair return in a deal.

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Although Randle had trouble staying consistent last year, throughout his last two seasons with the Knicks, he has averaged 22.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game.

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As the team strives to return to playoff contention, it may provide the Lakers an extra scoring lift behind James and Davis.

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In contrast, as Stein wrote, the Knicks probably wouldn't even want Westbrook in the backcourt and would instead utilise the transaction to reduce money.

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If the Lakers were to accept this kind of package, adding Evan Fournier or Derrick Rose to the deal would be sufficient to equal wages as Randle's contract stands alone.

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With the guard approaching the end of his contract, it might make room for an extension of RJ Barrett's. 

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Then, New York could construct its structures around Mitchell Robinson, Jalen Brunson, Barrett, and Mitchell.

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Still, a trade for Mitchell would be swinging as the first domino.

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The Knicks are a "motivated suitor," according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, but they still need to put together a deal that will appeal to the Utah Jazz.