A bad offseason for Russell Westbrook just got worse as the Los Angeles Lakers just traded for his arch nemesis Patrick Beverley. The chances of him staying with the team just took a blow. It’s no secret the Lakers don’t want him on the roster anymore and the Beverley trade proves that further.
Los Angeles will continue to explore their trade options and it might lead them back to the Utah Jazz. Though they just made a trade with the team, Utah could be an interesting landing spot for Westbrook. Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report believes a trade of Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gay to the Lakers for Westbrook, a 2027 first-round pick, a 2029 first-round pick and a second-round pick could be a good option:
If and when Mitchell is moved, there will almost certainly be a fire sale with the remaining veterans. And there are a lot to choose from, including Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gay, Jordan Clarkson and Malik Beasley.
Landing three of them, even if all may be post-prime, would be worth the Westbrook-and-picks package from L.A.
Playing alongside Mitchell the last three years has forced Conley to adapt to playing off the ball. During that stretch, he shot 40.1 percent from three. Bogdanovic has hit 39.7 percent of his triples with the Jazz. And though Gay’s career mark of 34.9 is slightly below average, it’s good enough to force opposing 4s and 5s to follow him out to the three-point line.
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Is This the Best Deal for Lakers?
The Jazz and Indiana Pacers appear to be the top trade partners for the Lakers right now. Both teams are rebuilding but have solid veteran pieces that could help Los Angeles. The Pacers trade would surround Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. The former helps the team with his size and defense while the latter is an elite 3-point shooter. That’s certainly an appealing deal for the Lakers.
The Jazz deal is also very interesting. If the Lakers wanted to, they could potentially get off all three players after the season. Conley’s 2023-2024 salary isn’t guaranteed, Gay has a player option and Bogdanovich would be a free agent. Conley could be the starting point guard while Bogdanovich helps solve the shooting issue. The players in the Pacers deal are more appealing but the future flexibility the Lakers get from the Jazz deal is also something for the team to think about.
Could Other Teams Get Into the Mix?
The Charlotte Hornets and San Antonio Spurs are two other teams with the flexibility to make a deal with the Lakers. The players the team could get in return aren’t very appealing though. If the Lakers can’t get the Pacers or Jazz deals to happen, the best bet is to make sure they don’t add any significant money for next offseason.
The Lakers will get off Westbrook’s $47 million cap hit which would allow them to sign a big-name free agent like Kyrie Irving.
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