The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to swing a trade for Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving as the two sides were unable to agree on the assets the Lakers would send out in such a deal. But that doesn’t mean the Lakers front office is done and a lot of eyes will be on Rob Pelinka as the NBA trade deadline approaches.
Whether it is a big deal involving Russell Westbrook that brings back multiple players, or something smaller that involves someone like Patrick Beverley, the expectation is that the Lakers will be active. And the Lakers apparently have some alternative teams that they could have some discussions with considering Irving is no longer an option.
According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors have repeatedly popped up as ‘Plan B options’ while the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls are also possibilities:
The Lakers will remain active on the trade market, exploring deals both small and large. In the wake of the Irving-to-Dallas news, the two teams that have repeatedly popped up as Plan B options for the Lakers are the Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors, according to league sources. Both teams have been linked to the Lakers in recent weeks and have starter-level players who have been rumored to be available. However, talks remain preliminary and nothing is imminent. The Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls are three other teams to watch, according to those sources.
All of these teams have been mentioned in previous rumors as potential trade partners for the Lakers. A Jazz package headlined by Mike Conley, or a Raptors deal involving Fred VanVleet both sound like positive deals for the Lakers. Additionally, Terry Rozier of the Hornets, Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott of the Spurs, and DeMar DeRozan or Zach LaVine of the Bulls have all been talked about as trade targets for the Lakers as well.
The Lakers have the means to make the salaries work in any number of deals, it will simply come down to the amount of draft capital they are willing to sacrifice to make a deal come together. But the pressure will be on Pelinka and the front office to find that right move and pull the trigger on a trade.
Lakers’ Russell Westbrook not focusing on trade rumors with deadline approaching
Of course, with so many rumors surrounding the Lakers, it only makes sense that players would hear all about them as well. But as far as Westbrook is concerned, they are the least of his worries.
Westbrook said that he has always understood that the NBA is a business and these things are out of his control. All he can focus on is being professional, and ready to play when the time comes and if a deal happens he will be prepared.
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