Offseason rumors have returned after a month-long slowdown on the trade market, exploring Russell Westbrook’s potential exit from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Although head coach Darvin Ham seems to be preparing for the possibility of Westbrook remaining on the roster come 2022-23 tip-off, the Lakers are reportedly still considering options that would allow them to part ways with the 33-year-old guard and strengthen their roster.
L.A. has been linked to a move for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield of the Indiana Pacers all summer long, but the Lakers seemingly still balk at the idea of sending two first-round picks in addition to Westbrook in exchange for the Indiana Pacers duo.
Among alternative deals, Marc Berman of the New York Post reports the Lakers could engage in Donovan Mitchell negotiations between the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz with Knicks wing Cam Reddish being a potential target:
Sources contend unprotected picks are more important to Utah, which reportedly is after the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 picks in what could be a three-team deal.
The Lakers could also net Cam Reddish in a three-team deal since they pursued him at the trade deadline. Reddish is part of agent Rich Paul’s stable of players — which means LeBron James and Anthony Davis could be on board.
The Jazz and Knicks have been previously mentioned as possible trade partners for the Lakers in their attempts to move Westbrook and his $47.1 million salary.
A deal between the three teams seems more viable now that the Knicks signed RJ Barrett to a contract extension, all but taking him off the table in discussions over Mitchell.
Draft picks are now likely what the Jazz will prioritize in return for their All-Star, opening the door for the Lakers to join the negotiations by offering their 2027 and 2029 first-rounders — as well as Westbrook’s expiring contract.
Reddish is a player the Lakers have been linked to before given his ties to Klutch Sports. The former lottery pick out of Duke has not found much NBA success so far, but at just 22 years of age, there’s still room for growth. The Lakers also lack wing players with the recent loss of Stanley Johnson, so Reddish could be an option to fill that void.
Lakers expected to make ‘significant trade’
Despite the murmurs of Ham and the Lakers front office being content with Westbrook’s return for another season, reports claim L.A. is still likely to make a “significant” move between now and the February trade deadline.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!