Lakers Receive Final Decision on Possible Trade for Heat Star Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry Miami Heat

Getty Miami Heat guard Kyle Lowry

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly won’t acquire an $85 million All-Star and NBA champion for Russell Westbrook.

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported on February 4 that the Miami Heat wouldn’t trade Kyle Lowry to the Lakers for Westbrook.

“The Lakers are surely searching for continued upgrades to their lineup around LeBron James and Anthony Davis following their January addition of Rui Hachimura, sources said, and have held conversations with both Utah and Charlotte regarding trading Russell Westbrook and the final year of his $47 million salary,” Fischer wrote. “It’s been repeated by league personnel that Miami has little regard for swapping Kyle Lowry for Westbrook.”

The Lakers, who missed out on Kyrie Irving, are trying to trade Westbrook before the February 9 trade deadline. Westbrook becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. The one-time MVP is averaging 15.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists on the season while shooting 41.4% from the field, 28.6% from beyond the arc and 65.9% from the free-throw line.

Lowry, meanwhile, is making $28.3 million this season. The six-time All-Star signed a three-year, $85 million contract with the Heat in August 2021. Lowry is averaging 12.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists in 2022-23 while shooting 39.6% overall, 33.3% from 3 and 85.5% from the charity stripe.

The Lakers Are Talking to Utah & Charlotte About a Russell Westbrook Trade

The Lakers have talked to the Utah Jazz and Charlotte Hornets about a Westbrook trade, per Fischer. Los Angeles could acquire Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward from Charlotte or Mike Conley and Malik Beasley from Utah.

“One of the possible trade destinations for Westbrook, Utah, also remains a major catalyst ahead of the deadline,” Fischer wrote. “Any deal that sends Westbrook to the Jazz would almost certainly include veteran point guard Mike Conley, wing shooter Malik Beasley and forward Jarred Vanderbilt, but sources told Yahoo Sports that Utah’s front office has discussed various deals across the league with each of those three players — including several combinations of Beasley and Vanderbilt heading out of Salt Lake City together.”

Westbrook, who has a plus-minus of -48 this season, is fourth in the NBA in turnovers. The UCLA product continues to be a poor fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who wanted the Lakers to trade for Irving, league sources told Heavy Sports.

Russell Westbrook to the Spurs?

LJ Ellis of SpursTalk reported on January 23 that trade talks between the Lakers and San Antonio Spurs involving Westbrook are “still alive.”

“Interestingly, a team insider says that talks between the Spurs and the Los Angeles Lakers that involve Russell Westbrook are still alive,” Ellis wrote. “Those talks have been on the back burner for a couple months but I’ve been told that both the Lakers and Spurs remain open to the possibility depending on how the next two weeks play out prior to the trade deadline.”

The Lakers are interested in acquiring Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott from the Spurs, per Ellis. Under CBA rules, Los Angeles can trade Westbrook and future draft picks to San Antonio for Richardson and McDermott.

In a January 2 column called “The Player Every NBA Team Needs to Trade In 2023,” Andy Bailey of Bleacher Report wrote that the Lakers need to trade Westbrook despite the All-Star guard’s improved play off the bench.

“It’s long past time for the Los Angeles Lakers to end the Russell Westbrook era, even if that doesn’t mean the team wins the trade in a landslide,” Bailey wrote. “That seems to be what general manager Rob Pelinka is waiting for, and that deal just might not be out there. In the meantime, the bad fit between Westbrook and LeBron James continues to cost L.A. games and diminish its chances to make the playoffs. Right now, the Lakers have a point differential around that of a 31-win team when Westbrook is on the floor and one around that of a 38-win team when he’s off. That second number certainly won’t blow anyone away, but finishing around 40 wins might get L.A. into the play-in tournament. And if LeBron and Anthony Davis are healthy for win-or-go-home games (big ifs, for sure), you have to like the team’s chances to make the playoffs.”

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