With Patrick Beverley now a Los Angeles Laker, the next move to watch out for is what they do with Russell Westbrook.
The Lakers had been holding onto Westbrook with hopes of exchanging him for Kyrie Irving, but that plan went out the window when the Brooklyn Nets and Kevin Durant were able to set aside their differences and move forward with their partnership. After all the rumors and drama this offseason, it would seem impossible for Los Angeles to bring Westbrook into the 2022-223 season, and reports have surfaced that his playing days with them could be numbered.
As far as who Los Angeles can trade with, there are a few partners that league executives believe are viable via Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report:
“Per one NBA executive, the Lakers have three remaining ‘obvious’ partners they should pursue to make a Westbrook swap in the Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs or Utah Jazz,”
The Pacers, Spurs, and Jazz are in various forms of rebuilds after the moves they made this summer, making them prime trade partners. All three teams would be able to take on Westbrook’s $47 million deal and presumably buy him out as he has little utility on their young rosters.
While each of them makes sense on paper, Indiana would be an ideal team to trade with as they’ve Buddy Hield and Myles Turner to match salaries. Hield and Turner have been linked to the Lakers for a long time, but it feels like the circumstances are perfect for the two sides to strike a deal.
Trading both first-round picks has been a non-starter for L.A., but with Beverley now on the team, they should be more willing to offer both to land Hield and Turner. It’ll be interesting to see how aggressive the Purple and Gold are in negotiations over the next couple of weeks.
Patrick Beverley reacts to trade to Lakers
Beverley made several comments in the offseason about his desire to play for the Lakers and next to LeBron James. The guard finally got his wish, and he was expectedly excited to wake up to the news.