The Los Angeles Lakers showed interest in several Indiana Pacers players, but trade talks got stuck in the middle of nowhere. The Pacers wanted a couple of first-round picks. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka had a chance to trade Russell Westbrook at the deadline in February, but the front office didn’t want to give up on their first-round picks.
Shams Charania from The Athletic reported that the Lakers won’t add first-round picks to get Pacers players. In other words, negotiation may be over at this point.
“The two first-round pick price is just not appealing for the Lakers, and right now, they’re going to be very prudent with the approach they’re going to take. There’s a long runway with Russell Westbrook, they can see how this team starts, they have until the trade deadline, he is on an expiring contract.
“And the Lakers mindset, I’m told, they realize this is a significant bullet that they’re going to have to use. When you look at two unprotected first-round picks, they have to time out when exactly it makes sense to make a trade. Right now, a package of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner is not what they’re willing to trade two first-round picks for.”
“I'm told the Lakers and Pacers did engage in some trade conversations this week and the Pacers' demand for two unprotected first-round picks … is just not appealing for the Lakers.”
Westbrook may overcome his struggles in the upcoming season. According to Ramona Shelburne, he will be starting point guard in 2022-23.
“From what I understand now, they still see Russell Westbrook as a starter. He’s a former MVP. He’s given that respect. Everyone’s gonna compete for jobs. … Russell Westbrook is the starter there,” Shelburne said.
Ham has to work with a really challenging roster. He has Patrick Beverley, Dennis Schroder, and Westbrook. How will the head coach handle this mix? The list of options may be a bit tight, but Lakers fans trust the process.
Radmila graduated with a degree in Translation & Interpreting. She is an NBA and NFL writer for The Ball Zone, and has been covering popular sports topics for several years. A loyal Lakers fan, she puts energy into reporting big roster moves, potential trades, on-court-accomplishments, and off-court rumors.