While the Lakers would seemingly like to trade Russell Westbrook this offseason, it doesn’t appear they are willing to do it at any cost.
Per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers are still rebuffing requests to attach multiple first-round draft picks in a deal centered on Westbrook.
“The team, after all, could always add more stuff to any trade offers in an effort to unload Westbrook,” Woike wrote. “And depending on what the expectations are in return, they could simply just keep piling on the limited trade assets that they have (pick swaps, second-round picks, etc.). So far, that’s a road the Lakers haven’t seriously taken, Rob Pelinka surprising plenty of folks around the NBA with his hesitancy to attach multiple draft picks with Westbrook in trade talks.”
The Lakers are limited in what they can add to Westbrook when it comes to picks. They reportedly have talked to the Nets about a Kyrie Irving-Westbrook swap, the Nets want at least two first-rounders. And that appears to be just a start.
But even that may not be enough, per Woike.
Meanwhile, for the Lakers, there is some pause about the unpredictable Irving, too.
“And there are the Lakers’ reasons for hesitancy with Kyrie Irving — his vaccination status, injury history and track record of saying he wants to stay somewhere before signing somewhere different — that have already and will certainly further be considered before talking about two firsts,” Woike wrote.
Along with the Nets, the Lakers have reportedly spoken to several others on a Westbrook deal, including the Pacers and Spurs. But those teams would want multiple draft picks to take on Westbrook’s expiring deal as well, it seems.
And right now, that’s not something the Lakers seem willing to surrender.
“If and when Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell get traded, the space to make a Westbrook trade probably opens a little wider with the costs getting cleared,” Woike wrote. “Lakers sources insist they have options beyond the ones that have been reported (Irving, Buddy Hield, Myles Turner and others). Time should better reveal those once the bigger moves get made.”