The Los Angeles Lakers were looking for a trade partner this whole time, but it seems like Russell Westbrook won’t go anywhere in the near future.
The Lakers have been linked to several players, including Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets. Trading Westbrook wasn’t really easy, but Rob Pelinka has few more options on the table.
“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,” Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times 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.”
Westbrook is coming off of a disappointing season. His stats are great but he was of no help for the team. The Lakers didn’t even make the postseason and fans put the blame on the former MVP.
Newly-hired Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has great words for Westbrook. Pelinka interviewed several candidates after firing Frank Vogel and Westbrook’s role with the team was one of the main topics. I guess Ham knows how to use the veteran.
“I love Russell Westbrook, man,” Ham told ESPN Senior Writer Marc Spears. “Just his mentality, his approach. Just to see him, a guy of that magnitude and everything he’s done in the league to get hated on. But being me, I got a wholehearted plan, a clear plan on how I’m going to use him.”
Lakers can trade Russell Westbrook for a top target
Trading Westbrook for Kyrie Irving makes sense and Pelinka is now willing to add some first-rounders to the trade offer. The Lakers need these first-round picks in the future, but hey, they also have to win a championship. LeBron James likes Irving and he would gladly team up with his former teammate. This may motivate the Lakers to throw some picks in the trade package for Irving.
“The Los Angeles Lakers are now reportedly willing to include both 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks in a deal for Kyrie Irving,” Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News reported on August 10. “Earlier in the offseason, the Nets were unwilling to take back Russell Westbrook in any Irving deal. It is unclear if their stance remains unchanged or could change depending on what is received in a potential Durant deal.”