Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook has seen his name in trade rumors nonstop for months and that has not changed since the season started.
Due to the Lakers’ lack of mid-tier salaries and trade assets, any roster upgrade would have to come by trading Westbrook and the organization’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks.
Westbrook’s level of play has increased since moving to the bench, which is good to see if you’re the Lakers. The team still lacks shooting though so the trade rumors will persist despite how well Westbrook is playing.
One of the Lakers’ options over the summer was the San Antonio Spurs and that is theoretically still there if they want it. The Spurs have gotten off to a nice start to the season at 5-5 but are still in a rebuild long-term.
They have a pair of sharpshooters in Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott that the Lakers have had interest in before. According to LJ Ellis of Spurs Talk though, the Lakers have only been willing to offer second-round picks to the Spurs along with Westbrook:
According to a source, the Los Angeles Lakers have targeted Richardson and McDermott in a trade that would involve Russell Westbrook. However, talks haven’t gained traction because the Lakers are only willing to relinquish a pair of second round picks in return for both players.
Richardson (41.9%) and McDermott (43.1%) have been shooting extremely well from three-point range this season for the Spurs. Considering the Lakers are last in the league in three-point shooting at 28.4%, Los Angeles may eventually decide to increase their offer for San Antonio’s sharpshooting duo.
If the Spurs do land Westbrook in a trade, the source says the Spurs would buy out his contract and allow him to become a free agent.
If the Lakers are willing to trade at least one of their future first-rounders then perhaps there is a deal to be made. Even though Richardson and McDermott are just role players, there’s no denying they would help the Lakers when it comes to their lack of shooting.
Richardson is currently shooting 41.9% from 3 on 4.8 attempts per game while McDermott is at 43.1% on 5.1 attempts on the young season. Both would also provide the Lakers with some length on the wing, which the current roster also lacks.
Pelinka waiting until after Thanksgiving to make deal
Seeing is that it’s still very early in the season, the Lakers appear to be in wait-and-see mode before making a trade. According to recent reports, Rob Pelinka will wait until after Thanksgiving before deciding if he will trade Westbrook and either or both of the 2027 and 2029 first-roind picks.
The Lakers have limited assets and can only make one trade, so it’s not a surprise that Pelinka and the front office want to see a bigger sample of what they have before using the one bullet in their chamber.
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