Lakers to Start Engaging Teams on Russell Westbrook Trades

While the Lakers have pumped the brakes on potential Russell Westbrook trades, it appears that it won’t be long before they start revving that engine again.Russell Westbrook

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers will start exploring the market for Westbrook takers again, and possibly soon. They paused those conversations at the start of training camp, per Wojnarowski, perhaps to see if Westbrook could be a better fit alongside star forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham is already exploring the idea of bringing Westbrook off the bench this season — a concept with which Westbrook is supposedly aligned.

“He’s been a pro. He totally understood. He said ‘Yeah coach, whatever you need me to do,'” Ham told reporters, via Mike Trudell of Lakers.com. “For him to trust us and what we’re trying to take some notes on  — him being in that part of the rotation — my hat’s off to him.”

Ham added that Westbrook’s move to the bench “is not a demotion, it’s a realignment.”

That said, many across the league seem to believe that if Westbrook worked well with James and Davis, he’d be starting.

“The Lakers didn’t (trade for) him to bring him off the bench,” one rival scout told Hoops Wire.

So now, it seems, they will begin exploring trades again.

The Lakers reportedly already 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.

Either way, the scout who spoke to Hoops Wire predicted Westbrook will be traded by December, or “January at the latest.”

The Lakers landed Patrick Beverley in a trade with the Jazz and brought back Dennis Schroder in free agency to help shore up the backcourt. Those moves made it seem they do, in fact, fully intend to move on from Westbrook.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Translation: Lakers adding more draft capital to their trade packages..

    Pelinka JUST traded for Russ, basically. How long did they try to make that work? If the Nat’l media had been saying it wouldn’t work.. and then he gives up on trying to make it work after 1 year, it just re-affirms that Westbrook is being used, for blame purposes. And scapegoat purposes.

    That has worked. Everyone now likes to blame Russ for the state of the Lakers. They don’t blame the guy who put it together, or the players who can’t handle Westbrook’s presence and check out from playing responsible basketball (defense). They don’t blame the coaching.

    It’s the 2017 MVP and triple double legend’s fault. Obviously.

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