Even as LeBron James pressures the Los Angeles Lakers to make a trade that would get him some help, it does not sound like Russell Westbrook or Anthony Davis will be on the way out just yet.
According to the same story Chris Haynes posted for Bleacher Report that we’ve cited a few times today, the team still isn’t close on any Westbrook deals, and is not shopping Davis:
With Russell Westbrook thriving in his new role as a sixth man, the Lakers are now receiving calls about his availability, sources say, but talks are not at a serious stage.
And while it’s been a talking point on social media, the Lakers are not considering trading Davis, according to sources. For any dialogue of that nature to occur, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul would have received calls from interested teams inquiring if his client would agree to an extension if they traded for him. Those conversations have not taken place, sources say.
And despite some awfully speculative reporting from Bill Simmons that prompted an entire news cycle about Anthony Davis trades — one that, admittedly, yours truly participated in — it never seemed particularly likely that Davis would get traded this year, and especially not at midseason. Which, to be fair, is pretty much what we’ve been saying at this site. So this is not that surprising, but still, it is nice of Rich Paul to put that storyline to bed for us, at least for now.
As for the Westbrook part of this... Well, I’ll just say I’m not surprised that nothing is imminent there. While Westbrook deserves credit for committing to his bench role, it’s still hard to find a team that a) has pieces that would help the Lakers that b) would also want Russ to, like, actually play for them this season. Which sort of makes how he is playing irrelevant in any of these reported calls, and that’s without factoring in that the Lakers still seem pretty committed to not attaching both of their currently available first-round picks to any deal involving him anyway, which has long seemed to be a prerequisite for getting a team to take on his contract.
So long story short, it doesn’t seem like much has really changed here. But that, in and of itself, is noteworthy, especially as the Lakers’ season continues to slip away.
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