What occurs when an irresistible pressure meets an immovable object? Effectively, the Los Angeles Lakers are apparently seeking to remedy the riddle.
4 video games (and 4 losses) into the 2022-23 NBA season and Russell Westbrook has nonetheless but to be traded. After an offseason filled with rumors, commerce proposals, and choices, Westbrook continues to be a Laker, and nothing has modified.
If something, Los Angeles’ capturing has gotten worse, as each Carmelo Anthony and Malik Monk are not on the squad. With Matt Ryan as the one true shooter on the workforce, the Lakers’ offense has been uncovered time and time once more.
Rob Pelinka reportedly plans on ready no less than 20 video games earlier than re-opening discussions on potential Westbrook offers, however followers aren’t all too happy with that concept. Their 0-4 document might shortly flip to 0-5, 0-6, and so forth, and because the New Orleans Pelicans personal the correct to swap draft picks with the Lakers, tanking for Victor Wembanayama isn’t an choice.
However that leaves one essential query – what Westbrook trades can be accessible for the Lakers?
The groups which have been often talked about are the Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, Charlotte Hornets, and San Antonio Spurs. And in line with Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Pelinka has been pitching “two, three and four-team commerce packages all through the summer season and fall.”
So, with that in thoughts, what are some potential offers Lakers followers can halfheartedly sit up for?
Russell Westbrook commerce concept for the Indiana Pacers
Pacers get: Russell Westbrook, 2027 1st; Lakers get: Buddy Hield, Myles Turner
Previous devoted. Till Westbrook will get traded, this deal will probably be introduced up time and time once more. Nonetheless, if the Pacers begin profitable too many video games, that’s the place the Lakers might look to swoop in.
Indiana is likely one of the groups that ought to be seeking to tank for Wembanyama, and due to that, having Hield and Turner may very well be a detriment to their final objective. By the point Thanksgiving rolls round, if they’ve one too many marks within the win column, accepting a bundle with solely one among LA’s two firsts may very well be price it.
Russell Westbrook commerce concept for the Utah Jazz
Jazz get: Russell Westbrook, 2023 1st (by way of MIA), 2027 1st (by way of LAL); Lakers get: Jordan Clarkson, Duncan Robinson, Malik Beasley; Warmth get: Kelly Olynyk
Within the spirit of Pelinka’s want to create multi-team trades, right here’s one that might work out for all events concerned. The Warmth would get a giant to pair subsequent to Bam Adebayo, the Lakers would get some much-needed capturing and depth, and the Jazz would get picks and an expiring contract.
The explanation behind Miami’s involvement on this deal can be for the Lakers to tackle Robinson’s contract. Positive, it will diminish their cap area subsequent summer season, however this may assist them put a greater workforce round LeBron James and Anthony Davis, regardless. Utah wouldn’t should eat Robinson’s long-term cash, so the Lakers would solely should commerce one among their future firsts.
*LAL and MIA must swap irrelevant picks/money to make a deal work as a result of every workforce should swap items with each workforce concerned.
Russell Westbrook commerce concept for the San Antonio Spurs
Spurs get: Russell Westbrook, Juancho Hernangomez, 2023 1st (by way of TOR), Protected 2027 1st (by way of LAL), Lakers get: Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson, Khem Birch; Raptors get: Jakob Poeltl
This deal can be eerily just like the three-team commerce with Miami and Utah, because the Toronto Raptors can be taking part in the same function – leaping within the deal to get a participant and guaranteeing that the Lakers would solely should commerce one first-round choose.
San Antonio would additional their Wembanyama efforts, the Lakers would get some stable (but not fairly as stable because the Jazz commerce) depth, and the Raptors would land a giant man improve within the type of a former participant.
All that being stated, SB Nation’s Spurs web site, Pounding the Rock, identified an essential truth – the Lakers don’t have a lot leverage in a Westbrook commerce with San Antonio. Until the Spurs win too many video games, they don’t have any actual purpose to budge on what they might need from the Lakers. So until they get into the depths of the season and are within the Play-In hunt, the Spurs appear unlikely to get in on the Westbrook motion.
*LAL and TOR must swap irrelevant picks/money to make a deal work as a result of every workforce should swap items with each workforce concerned.
Russell Westbrook commerce concept for the Charlotte Hornets
Hornets get: Russell Westbrook, 2027 1st, 2023 2nd; Lakers get: Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre Jr., Mason Plumlee
Because the season goes on, the Hornets might notice that the time to tank is now. Even when LaMelo Ball will get again, they don’t appear to hold a lot hope of constructing a playoff run in a stacked Jap Convention. And in the event that they determine that tanking is the correct transfer, this deal ought to be towards the highest of their checklist.
Touchdown a future first from the Lakers and a 2023 second-rounder can be a steal for 3 gamers who in all probability wouldn’t maintain as a lot commerce worth in different offers. However for the Lakers, getting Hayward’s shot creation, Oubre’s capturing, and Plumlee’s playmaking on the middle place (a spot the place they don’t have many nice choices) can be very useful.
As time goes on, Lakers followers will turn into increasingly more determined for a Westbrook commerce. However Pelinka, sitting on high of his shiny new contract extension, doesn’t appear to be in any rush.