The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t try too hard to find a trade partner for their players, but it seems like they have made a decision regarding the current situation in the locker room.
Russell Westbrook was mentioned in pretty much every trade rumor in the offseason. General Manager Rob Pelinka didn’t trade him though. Russ was the perfect trade candidate, but negotiations weren’t taken to a higher level.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin discussed potential trade plans and Pelinka’s next move. Is he trading Westbrook?
“There is belief shared by leaders in the Lakers’ locker room, sources said, that the team is only a couple of players away from turning this group into a legitimate contender,” McMenamin reported. “But acquiring the right players could take multiple trades.”
The Lakers did have a chance to trade for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. However, they had to give up on future first-round picks. This trade suggestion didn’t sit well with the Lakers and they stopped negotiations.
The Lakers had a reason to make this decision on potential Pacers trade
Pelinka had a really good reason to make such decision. Turner is prone to injuries. The Lakers have a bunch of players who miss time due to injuries. Why would they trade Russ and two first-round picks for someone who can easily miss a few months? It was a risky move and Pelinka decided to keep his roster intact.
“Let’s start with Turner’s availability. He has played in only 89 out of 154 of Indiana’s games the past two seasons because of foot and ankle injuries — hardly reliable insurance should (Anthony) Davis get hit by injuries, as he has the past two seasons,” McMenamin reported. “There are other questions the Lakers’ front office considered when evaluating the trade before training camp, sources said, that left L.A. reluctant to go all-in. Questions such as: Would either Turner or Hield be clear-cut members of L.A.’s closing lineup in a playoff game? Would Turner be able to stay on the court if the opponent went small? Would Hield bring enough defensively, or would Ham trust in a wing like Austin Reaves or Troy Brown Jr. more in that spot?
“And, recalling the franchise’s trades for free-agent-to-be Dwight Howard in 2012 and Dennis Schroder in 2020, is it worth risking what could be valuable future draft capital to acquire Turner for what could amount to only a few months in Los Angeles if he walks the way Howard and Schroder did?”