The Los Angeles Lakers have been loud about the fact that they plan to bring Russell Westbrook back this season in the media. Behind the scenes has been a different story as the former MVP has been the subject of dozens of trade rumors. However, the Lakers apparently don’t like any of the offers they’ve seen thus far.
With options becoming increasingly limited, reality is setting in that Westbrook could very likely start the season in Los Angeles. It’s not ideal but head coach Darvin Ham has done a lot of damage control with the praise he’s given to the guard. Westbrook has even embraced the Lakers bringing in his archenemy Patrick Beverley. Anything is possible, especially when the season starts, but Westbrook is set to be on the roster.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Lakers may have officially given up on trying to find a trade partner for now.
“Based on the executives I’m talking to, they believe that the Lakers have come to the conclusion that they’re not going to trade Westbrook now, because they don’t like any of their offers and they’re going to try and make the best of it and see what happens,” Windhorst said on “The Hoop Collective” podcast.
Do Lakers Have Offers on the Table?
If the Lakers wanted to trade Westbrook at any cost, they have the means to do it. The Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz have been the most talked about trade partners in recent weeks. However, both teams appear to want the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick and their 2029 first-round pick. That’s a price Los Angeles doesn’t want to pay. They’d likely give up one but not both.
The assets the Jazz and Pacers could offer aren’t appealing enough. Giving up valuable draft capital just to get off Westbrook is a steep price to pay. Do packages of Jordan Clarkson and Bojan Bogdanovic or Myles Turner and Buddy Hield make the Lakers contender again? It’s unlikely, which is why the team isn’t as eager to trade away their draft picks. Back when Kyrie Irving was an option, the Lakers likely would’ve given up both of the picks as he at least gives them a chance to catch fire and go on a run. None of the players currently being discussed truly make much of a difference for Los Angeles.
Are Lakers Taking a Mulligan This Season?
The Lakers are all about winning. From 1976 to 2013, the team missed the playoffs just twice. Since Jeanie Buss took over the team, they’ve missed the playoffs seven times. That could go up to eight this season. The Lakers’ roster is bad. They have no dependable wings outside of a 37-year-old LeBron James.
They also have no proven shooting whatsoever. Beverley might be their best 3-point shooter with a 37.8% career shooting percentage from beyond the arc. The Lakers got younger this offseason but it’s fair to question if they’re better. Now, if Anthony Davis and LeBron could play 70 or more games, then the team could be solid. Those two staying healthy is the only chance the team has at being relevant unless they pull off a surprise trade.