The annual NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching and the Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most active teams looking for deals.
The Lakers are currently fighting to make the playoffs and have clear needs that need to be addressed on the roster. At the forefront of their negotiations has been Russell Westbrook, who Los Angeles seems intent on dealing away in order to upgrade the team with multiple role players.
One potential trade partner for the Lakers is the Utah Jazz, who have reportedly had exploratory conversations involving Westbrook. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, there are several players that could potentially come back in a deal should the two sides agree:
One of the possible trade destinations for Westbrook, Utah, also remains a major catalyst ahead of the deadline. Any deal that sends Westbrook to the Jazz would almost certainly include veteran point guard Mike Conley, wing shooter Malik Beasley and forward Jarred Vanderbilt, but sources told Yahoo Sports that Utah’s front office has discussed various deals across the league with each of those three players — including several combinations of Beasley and Vanderbilt heading out of Salt Lake City together.
Mike Conley, Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt would provide some much-needed depth in both the backcourt and frontcourt while also giving L.A. more outside shooting that they absolutely need. All three players could immediately slot into the rotation and are natural complements to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Of course, everything comes down to how much the Lakers are willing to give up in a deal as they have been reluctant to give up their first-round picks. The going price for offloading Westbrook has been at least one of those firsts, so if L.A. truly hopes to get useful players in return they’ll most likely need to move off their stance and overpay.
Things can change quickly in the market if more teams decide to sell off their veterans, though it seems a little far-fetched considering how bunched-up teams are in the standings. It’ll be interesting to see what the purple and gold ultimately end up doing, but a move seems inevitable.
Lakers not interested in including Austin Reaves or Max Christie in trade packages
The Lakers don’t have many attractive assets outside of their future first-round picks, though they do have promising young players in Austin Reaves and Max Christie. Any team would be smart to ask for either of them in a trade, but Los Angeles is reportedly not interested in trading either of them.
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