Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka may have found the perfect trade partner. The latest trade proposal links the Lakers to the Utah Jazz and the franchise can finally “get rid” of Russell Westbrook.
The Jazz are rebuilding their roster and they have already traded Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. Pelinka could use guards Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson and yes, Sean Deveney from Heavy discussed the potential trade.
“Conley would be the real prize here, a veteran set-up point guard who can run the team, score when he needs to and generally fit a role,” Deveney wrote. “The bonus: The Lakers would be free of the Westbrook experiment and get a remade bench with (Patrick) Beverley and Clarkson leading the charge. Also, it costs the Lakers just one first-rounder. Teams talking with the Lakers about Westbrook have held out hope that they can force L.A. to give up both of its available picks, in 2027 and 2029. The thinking has been that one pick is for taking on Westbrook’s contract and buying him out, and the other is for the players the Lakers would receive in return.
“The Lakers have resisted that notion and as training camp approaches, the Pacers or Jazz are weighing whether taking on Westbrook is worth just one of the Lakers picks, both of which figure to be valuable. If the Lakers hold firm, after all, the teams could wind up with none of L.A.’s future picks.”
The Utah trade could help the Lakers improve their shooting and cut the Westbrook saga
Utah has been hearing offers for Conley and Clarkson and Pelinka should step forward with a nice one. He can offer Westbrook and a couple of first-rounders and improve the shooting with one simple move. This would be a perfect trade scenario for both teams. Utah could get Westbrook’s deal and use the first-round picks to improve the roster. What about Russ? He will probably be waived.
Westbrook is an incredibly competitive player, but he is of no use for the Lakers. Several analysts believe that he should embrace a bench role in the upcoming season. If this doesn’t happen, Russ will have to leave the team.