The Lakers are seemingly still scouring the market and attempting to move on from point guard Russell Westbrook.
And the Spurs are among the teams LA has spoken to more recently, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Trade talks were “preliminary” and also involved Spurs guard/forward Josh Richardson, Charania added.
Richardson is off to a hot start and the Spurs have looked good early, while Westbrook has continued to struggle mightily next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, something that reportedly has Westbrook’s trade value on the decline.
So while the Lakers are calling, and other teams are willing listeners, it seems as if a deal anytime soon is a longshot. Westbrook also possesses a $47.1 million expiring contract, making a deal nearer to the February trade deadline more realistic, in the eyes of many.
Over the summer, the Lakers reportedly discussed Westbrook trades with the likes of the Pacers, Nets, Jazz and even Knicks — but have been unwilling to part with both of their next two trade-eligible picks (2027 and ’29) to move his expiring contract. They are said to be willing to include one of those picks in a Westbrook trade, however.
Charania added that the Lakers recently spoke to the Hornets about Hornets point guard Terry Rozier, and the Hornets are among the team that were linked to Westbrook previously. But Charlotte appears to be set on waiting to later into the season to start seriously exploring deals.
One opposing scout told Hoops Wire that he does think Westbrook will be traded this season, but that it might not happen until January or February.
Westbrook, 33, is averaging 10.3 points and shooting just 29 percent through the first three games. The Lakers have lost them all.
He was benched late in the Lakers’ loss to the Trail Blazers, with new coach Darvin Ham saying he wasn’t worried about any sort of fallout.
“We don’t have time for feelings or people being in their feelings. Like, we’re trying to turn this thing around,” Ham said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “For one person to be in their feelings about when and where and how they should be in the game, I don’t have any time for that.”