Trade Talks for Brooklyn Nets and Former NBA MVP Re-emerge in Proposed Offering

James Harden and Russell Westbrook

Getty Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers defends James Harden #13 of the Brooklyn Nets

Russell Westbrook remains one of the most shopped-around players in the NBA offseason. With his enormous $47.5 million contract. While it is an expiring contract, the Los Angeles Lakers are having a hard time finding a trade partner to take it on. The Lakers and Brooklyn Nets have been attached to trade proposals involving Westbrook as the Lakers continue to pursue a Kyrie Irving and LeBron James reunion in Los Angeles. 

No talks between the Lakers and Nets have advanced. The closest the Lakers got to acquiring Irving was when he was throwing the idea that he would sign with the Lakers for a $6 million mid-level extension. LeBron James has expressed his desire to play again with Kyrie, but after Irving opted into the final year of his contract in Brooklyn, they need to find a trade the Nets like to be able to do so. 

The Nets remain uninterested in a deal that would bring Westbrook and his contract to Brooklyn. They have been discussed in potential three-way deals with teams like the San Antonio Spurs, but nothing more than initial talks have been had. Despite the recent report that the trio of Westbrook, James, and Anthony Davis spoke and look forward to running it back next season, the All-Star point guard was mentioned in yet another Irving proposal. 

Another Irving for Westbrook Trade Proposal

In an August 2 column from Bleacher Reports, Grant Hughes, Irving, and Westbrook were again linked in trade proposals. This time the Nets had added picks in the proposed deal. 

Brooklyn Nets Receive: Russell Westbrook, a 2027 first-round pick, and a 2029 first-round pick

Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving (and another minimum salary player that the Nets would have to add to get a deal done. 

It’s important to note that the title of the column is “Realistic Deals for NBA’s Least Tradable Contracts,” and it explores a multitude of potential deals that would move some of the NBA’s least attractive contracts. 

Westbrook’s contract is just that, an unattractive and rather large contract. The All-Star point guard will still likely put up numbers on whatever team he is on, but teams are having a tough time justifying potential deals that bring that contract in return. 

Russell’s season in Los Angeles wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be. He averaged 18.5 points and over 7 rebounds and 7 assists per game for the Lakers. His play was under a bit of a magnifying glass in Los Angeles, and that has hurt his trade stock, but he could still contribute. 

Nets Russell Trade Remains Unlikely

A deal that sends Russell to Brooklyn remains extremely unlikely. The Nets have been very clearly not interested in acquiring the star. If Durant does return, it is hard to imagine the two playing together again and expecting a different result. Kyrie Irving remains a generational NBA talent despite the drama that he brings to a franchise and sending him away for a return of such little value feels like an egregious failure to Brooklyn’s Irving experiment. 

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