As Thursday’s NBA trade deadline approaches, the Los Angeles Lakers are running out of time to make roster upgrades that will get them back into championship contention.
It’s no secret that the Lakers have been shopping Russell Westbrook, perhaps willing to trade one or both of their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks if it gives them a big enough upgrade.
The Lakers have recently talked with the Utah Jazz about a deal surrounding Mike Conley, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt.
It appears those talks have expanded to a third team in the Minnesota Timberwolves with a reunion with D’Angelo Russell being a possibility for the Lakers, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Ongoing discussions have included Utah's Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt as part of the potential three-team deal to the Lakers, sources said. Sides are working through pick protections and additional draft compensation too, per sources. https://t.co/DoI0EBOBVq
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 8, 2023
According to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Westbrook would be bought out by the Jazz if a deal comes to fruition with Conley heading to Utah:
In three-team deal being discussed between Lakers, Wolves and Jazz, a buyout for Russell Westbrook in Utah would be the likely path, league sources tell @NBAonTNT, @BleacherReport.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 8, 2023
It remains to be seen if Rob Pelinka will be able to get a deal done, but this would be a move that makes some sense for the Lakers. They would be adding some shooting with Russell and Beasley and some size with Vanderbilt.
In 54 games this season, Russell is averaging 17.9 points and 6.2 assists while shooting 39.1% from 3-point range. He was obviously drafted by the Lakers second overall in 2015 before being traded to the Brooklyn Nets. He has since played for the Golden State Warriors and Timberwolves.
Both Russell and Beasley have expiring contracts, which would also give L.A. soe flexibility going into the summer which they are said to be desiring.
Redick believes trade is ‘close’
Earlier on Wednesday morning, former NBA player and current analyst JJ Redick reported that a Westbrook deal between the Lakers and Jazz was ‘close’ to being done.
With the trade deadline set for Thursday at 12 p.m. PT, it’s very possible that Westbrook has played his final game as a member of the Lakers.
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