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Are the Hornets a realistic trade destination for Russell Westbrook?

If the Lakers do trade Russell Westbrook, are the Charlotte Hornets a realistic spot for him to land?

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Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Early in the offseason, when it seemed like far more of a possibility that Russell Westbrook would be traded, one of the most common trade destinations discussed was the Charlotte Hornets. Gordon Hayward is one of the few contracts in the league that comes close to matching Westbrook’s, and the Hornets are one of the few teams that could be looking to save long-term money.

In today’s episode of “Can U Dig It,” a podcast by the Silver Screen & Roll network, I welcome in guest Nata Edwards, former co-host of the “Locked On Hornets” podcast and current producer of CBS Sports’ “Eye on College Basketball” podcast.

Before talking about any Russ trade, we discuss the Lakers and Hornets recently completed coaching searches. With so few job openings this offseason, there was a healthy amount of overlap between the two teams’ quest to find a captain, with almost the exact same group of candidates interviewing for both positions.

The Hornets ended up hiring Kenny Atkinson last week, who was also one of the finalists for the Lakers job. Darvin Ham, who the Lakers hired, was a finalist for both jobs before picking Los Angeles. The pair also talk about Malik Monk’s ascension in purple and gold after a rocky time in Charlotte, and the possibility of former Hornets head coach James Borrego landing on LA’s staff.

Then, the conversation turns to Russ and a potential trade. First, Nata discusses whether the Hornets even have interest in acquiring him and to what degree the franchise is even looking to unload Hayward’s contract. Any team that trades for Westbrook this summer will likely be doing so for financial reasons, but are those financial reasons enough to sway Charlotte?

If a trade is to go down, what would it look like? We discuss what the Hornets would want from the Lakers, and what Charlotte would be willing to part with in a deal. The episode finishes by discussing the Finals and why no one should root for the Celtics.

You can listen to all that and more on our latest episode in the player embedded below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude. And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.