Russell Westbrook trade rumors: Lakers nearly dealt star to Pacers before training camp, per report

Russell Westbrook stays a member of the Los Angeles Lakers regardless of the group attempting to trade him all summer season. Finding a group happy to handle the $47 million he’s owed for the rest of the season hasn’t been a simple job for the Lakers, particularly provided his dull play in L.A. in 2015. 

However, in the days leading up to training school Westbrook was practically sent out to the Indiana Pacers in an offer that would’ve netted the Lakers both of Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, per The Athletic. The information:

“Vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, owner Jeanie Buss and senior basketball adviser Kurt Rambis seriously considered sending Westbrook and unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Pacers for center Myles Turner and guard Buddy Hield, sources said. They held a series of meetings in the days leading up to camp to analyze the possible Pacers deal from every angle, with the views of Ham and Lakers executives Joey and Jesse Buss also being strongly considered in the process. The organization even delayed the midweek news conference for Pelinka and Ham as the debate continued.”

However, as The Athletic reports, Pelinka eventually decided to “remain patient” with Westbrook to see if he has the ability to discover his stride with the Lakers or if a much better offer occurs to trade him. But this wasn’t the very first circumstances in which the Lakers pursued trading Westbrook this summer season. When the Brooklyn Nets were reaching catastrophe levels when Kevin Durant asked for a trade and Kyrie Irving was likewise trying to find an escape, the Lakers were greatly reported to attempt and land Irving in a swap for Westbrook. The Nets never ever seriously thought about handling Westbrook in an offer, so that was more of a one-sided interest. 

Other reported trades included sending out the previous league MVP to the Utah Jazz in exchange for Bojan Bogdanovic, however he was eventually dealt to the Detroit Pistons just recently. The Athletic likewise reports that the Lakers attempted to land Jordan Clarkson from the Jazz for Westbrook, however remarkably adequate Utah owner Ryan Smith is supposedly not thinking about parting methods with him, regardless of the group going into a restore.

In completion, the most feasible alternative to trade Westbrook has actually been with the Pacers, who the Lakers touched with throughout the summer season going over various structures. Some bundles consisted of simply sending out among either Turner or Hield to the Lakers for Westbrook and draft payment. There was even the conversation of generating a 3rd group, particularly the Memphis Grizzlies, who would take among L.A’s future first-round choices, and in return send out 2 first-round choices to the Pacers to meet that demand. However, the Lakers and Pacers might never ever pertain to a firm arrangement on a trade bundle, and the Lakers pulled back, something that has actually been rather of a style in them attempting to trade Westbrook. 

L.A. has actually been determined up until now in not trading both of its future first-round choices in an effort to maintain properties for the future. But considered that the Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the lineup with the intent of completing for champions, it does not make good sense for Pelinka and the rest of L.A.’s brass to be stingy with their choices. There’s just a lot of more years that James will be dipping into a peak level, and it would be smart of the Lakers to attempt and optimize that chance as much as possible. 

But in the meantime, it appears that L.A. will attempt and provide Westbrook another possibility to discover his put on this group prior to trading him. They might constantly review the possibility ahead of the trade due date in February. Or maybe they simply ride out the last year of Westbrook’s agreement and cut ties at the end of the season, providing more monetary versatility to make a run at complimentary representatives in the summer season of 2023. We’ll simply need to wait and see how this turns out in L.A., due to the fact that with the Lakers not trading him there’s now a lots of pressure on Westbrook, first-year coach Darvin Ham and Pelinka to make this scenario work. 

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