Potential Trade Swaps Lakers Guard Russell Westbrook for Pair of Sharpshooters

Russell Westbrook

Getty Images Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers have come close but have not pulled the trigger on trading Russell Westbrook, waiting to make the right deal.

While the Lakers going all-in on a move by using both of their available first-round picks has been floated, the team could decide to do a slightly more conservative deal, with Westbrook and his hefty salary still at the center.

Bleacher Report proposed a trade that would send Westbrook and the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick (top-five protected) to the Spurs for a pair of shooters in Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott. While Richardson and McDermott don’t carry start potential, both shot over 40% from deep last season and would be valued alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Here’s what Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley had to say about the trade:

The trade cost is not two unprotected first-rounders, but rather a single selection with a touch of protection. Plus, both incoming players are wings, which is arguably where the Lakers need the most help.

If L.A. went this route, it would bolster the wing rotation with a three-and-D ace in Josh Richardson and a lights-out sharpshooter in Doug McDermott. Both would be seamless fits alongside LeBron James, as they simply execute their roles and don’t try to do too much.

Lakers Were on ‘1-yard Line’ With Pacers Trade

Westbrook started camp with the Lakers but it appeared for the majority of the offseason that he wouldn’t be sporting purple and gold this season. The most frequent trade talk has centered around a deal with the Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield.

It was reported by Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Jovan Buha of The Athletic on October 3 that the prospect of Westbrook being traded in the coming weeks and months “remains real.” Additionally, prior to the start of camp, the team heavily considered sending Westbrook and unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Pacers for center Turner and Hield.

Buha joined the “Please Don’t Aggregate This” podcast with Jake Fischer to add additional clarity to the reporting on October 4.

“To my knowledge and the knowledge of [myself, Amick and Charania] as a group, it was at the one-yard line internally,” Buha said. “There was definitely a point during the weekend when from what we were hearing it sounded like a done deal that they were going to make the offer. Obviously it was contingent on Indiana to accept the offer, but they had been telling the Lakers all summer that they were going to need two picks, and if the Lakers made that offer, I think they were confident that Indiana would have accepted it.”

The Lakers still have their trade chips and could pounce on another deal once the season starts that they feel will bring back a stronger return.

Westbrook Remains Focused Amid Rampant Rumors

While Westbrook’s name remains in the news, the polarizing point guard is doing his best to block out the distractions.

“All summer, my whole life, I’ve been hearing the stories about myself,” Westbrook told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times. “That’s not going to change today. So, nothing new for me. I’m going to continue to keep my head down, focus on competing. And everything else will take care of itself.”

Westbrook played 15 minutes in the Lakers’ preseason debut and looked solid. The former MVP notched five points, two rebounds, three assists in the limited action. The Lakers will be in action again on Wednesday night against the Phoenix Suns.

Read More
Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x