As the offseason continues to wind down, the biggest remaining question surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers is still the future of Russell Westbrook. The Lakers have obviously been involved in talks with teams on a potential deal surrounding the former All-Star point guard, but nothing has yet to materialize.
New head coach Darvin Ham has continually spoken about being excited to coach Westbrook, and the point guard has had conversations with LeBron James and Anthony Davis to make sure they are all on the same page leading many to believe Westbrook will indeed be in purple and gold this upcoming season.
But the Lakers have continued to have discussions around the league on a potential Westbrook deal with the Utah Jazz, New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers all checking in, Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Utah, New York and Indiana are among the teams that have discussed deals with the Lakers involving Russell Westbrook and draft capital, sources said. There appears no deal imminent in those conversations — as the overall trade market plays out over the next two months of the offseason.
The Pacers are a familiar name being brought up as a potential deal surrounding sharpshooter Buddy Hield has been rumored for some time. The Knicks and Jazz are interesting possibilities with both in completely different places in terms of what they are going for this season.
The Jazz look to be in full rebuild mode after trading Rudy Gobert and shopping Donovan Mitchell. They would likely have little interest in Westbrook as a player and would be more interested in the draft capital they would acquire in such a deal.
New York, on the other hand, is looking to compete after signing Jalen Brunson this summer and seeing the growth of R.J. Barrett. Whether they see Westbrook as a piece to add to that or are looking to get off the Julius Randle contract for a more short-term deal is unclear. But the Lakers are certainly exploring all possibilities and will continue to be a team to watch as the offseason moves forward.
Durant has shown no change in trade request, could help Lakers’ Kyrie Irving pursuit
Of course, the most discussed potential Westbrook trade has been the trade for Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving. But rumors have been that Brooklyn is focused on honoring Kevin Durant’s trade request, with Irving being put on the backburner.
While talks on a potential Durant deal had quieted for some time with a recent report suggesting that nothing has changed on that front, the Boston Celtics are now emerging as a potential trade partner. This could be great news for the Lakers and a potential Irving deal.
If Durant is dealt away, the Nets will almost certainly immediately look to shed Irving as well, and the Lakers remain the prime candidate to land the All-Star.
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