The Los Angeles Lakers proved they are still active in the trade market by acquiring Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz on Thursday — a move that makes Russell Westbrook’s future all the murkier.
The Lakers reportedly aimed to add more shooting through trades after signing young, athletic defenders at the beginning of free agency. Beverley’s arrival partly achieves that goal as the 34-year-old has proved he can knock down triples in addition to being a menace on defense, boasting a career 3-point shooting percentage of 37.8%
Besides his long-time beef with Westbrook, Beverley is another point guard on the roster, which suggests the Purple and Gold are still trying to trade the 2017 NBA MVP this summer. The Athletic’s Jovan Buha confirms the trade makes it less likely that Westbrook will don the purple and gold jersey next season:
Beverley’s arrival makes it more likely that Westbrook will be off the active roster by the start of training camp, either through a trade or the team sending him home a la the Rockets with John Wall last season, according to a source close to the situation.
Buha adds that although no further trades are imminent, the Lakers are more than likely to further reshape the roster before the 2022-23 season’s tip:
Either way, this isn’t the Lakers’ final roster. Another move is coming at some point. They are unlikely to make another deal right away, but the team is still actively pursuing Westbrook deals and other avenues to improve the roster before training camp, according to league sources.
The Lakers’ efforts to acquire Kyrie Irving are over, but they reportedly have other options to consider while trying to part ways with Westbrook.
The most obvious choice appears to be striking a deal for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield with the Indiana Pacers. But first, L.A. has to figure out whether they want to give up two first-round picks to make the trade happen — or convince the Pacers to over their price for their two stars.
Beverley reacts to Lakers trade
Beverley has been hinting at a potential move to the Lakers in TV appearances over the last few weeks.
But the guard still appeared surprised when his wishes came true. “Woke up a Laker!!! It’s on!” Beverley tweeted on Thursday.