While the Lakers are searching for a taker for point guard Russell Westbrook, as has been widely reported, they may not stop there.
General manager Rob Pelinka could be looking for smaller moves around the margins as well, per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
“There might be a stopgap move here or there, a small deal that might not wreck next year’s cap space or a trade of those valued firsts for marginal improvement,” Windhorst wrote. “It’s not that Pelinka hasn’t searched for the big one now.
“According to rival executives, the Lakers have pitched two, three and four-team trade packages throughout the summer and fall, grasping at the panacea that brings in two or three difference-makers in one swoop.”
In other words, the Lakers are looking at multi-team trades, perhaps not only to move Westbrook, but in an effort to improve the roster overall. Right now, without a doubt, they need some reliable outside shooting around star forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
As Windhorst wrote:
“Will the Lakers be able to wait, as Pelinka implies, for the big trade offer? Can they swallow the bad shooting nights, the social media mockery, the media criticism and even the occasional frustrated James jab to stick with the stated plan?”
All are fair questions, and questions the Lakers will need to answer before anyone starts taking them seriously as a franchise that can return to the playoffs.
Clearly, what they have right now is not working and does not put them among the Western Conference elite. Or perhaps even among the West candidates for the play-in tournament.
Westbrook has been linked to the Pacers, Spurs and several others lately, but as one rival GM told Hoops Wire, “Trading him is going to be an uphill climb. I suspect if they do find a deal, it won’t be until later in the season, when someone wants his (expiring $47.1 million) contract. But I can’t imagine anyone would give up much for that alone.”
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