Nets Among Favorites to Land Lakers Star Russell Westbrook in Blockbuster Trade

Lakers guard Russell Westbrook

Getty Lakers guard Russell Westbrook

There are a lot of storylines heading into the 2023 NBA season, but none of them compare to the attention the Brooklyn Nets will receive. After being uncertain about their stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving remaining in Brooklyn during the offseason, the Nets are set to debut their All-Star trifecta of Irving, Durant, and Ben Simmons.

And even with a roster that is already star-studded, Brooklyn could be in the market to add another All-Star. Per Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports, the Nets are among the favorites to land Lakers starting point guard Russell Westbrook. See the full list of odds below:

Lakers -200
Jazz +250
Knicks +650
Pacers +650
Nets +750
Hornets +1400

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Patrick Beverley Changes Tone on Russell Westbrook

The Lakers could be looking to offload Westbrook’s contract if they find a trade that compensates them fairly. One of the reasons for that could be the acquisition of point guard Patrick Beverley from the Utah Jazz. Beverley played a pivotal role in helping the Minnesota Timberwolves get back to the playoffs in 2022, so he has a lot to offer the franchise. And despite his history with Westbrook, Beverley says he is excited at the thought of playing with the former NBA MVP.

“Super excited,” Beverley said of his thoughts on the pairing with Westbrook via ESPN. “… I was asked this question two, three years ago, [about] someone I always wanted to play with and [Westbrook] was the first name. I have [known] Bron since I was a baby, a rookie in this league, so obviously I want to play with him.

But a player with that competitive spirit, that fire, that will, that dog, that nastiness, that grit, to have a running mate like that, I have never had that. So, I am super excited to see where it goes. Obviously like any relationship or any marriage, things, we are going to have tough conversations. That is what comes with winning, but I am excited about those conversations, I am excited about the practices. I am just excited to be able to compete with someone like that.”

Westbrook Begged Agent to Come to Nets

After playing just 29 games last season because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccination, the Nets had preliminary discussions on a trade that would send Kyrie to the Lakers and Russell Westbrook to the Nets per “Yahoo Sports”.

That trade would, of course, reunite Westbrook with his former Oklahoma City Thunder co-star Kevin Durant. For perspective, Westbrook made the lone NBA Finals appearance of his career in 2012 with Oklahoma City.

During a Spotify Live session on July 19, NBA insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson of Bally Sports said Westbrook was imploring his now, former agent Thad Foucher to get him to the Nets.

“Russell Westbrook had his former agent Thad Foucher begging Sean Marks directly every day to come to Brooklyn,” Robinson said (H/T @playboileb on Twitter).

Both in the mode to silence all the critics who wrote them off, Westbrook and Durant could be the perfect pairing this season. It will be interesting to see if the Nets can pull off a trade.