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Given how last season played out, few, if anyone, would have anticipated Russell Westbrook to have a season like he is in the midst of. Embracing his role off the bench has revitalized his career and his value to the Lakers.
While it may not keep him from being traded entirely, it may keep him on the Lakers longer to fight for his spot. While the very recent Anthony Davis injury news may change their outlook at the deadline — and to be clear, this poll was conducted before Davis was ruled out for at least a month — the Lakers now have multiple trade packages of interest.
Our latest SB Nations Reacts survey asked which trade package the Lakers should be focused on trading and had a very decisive answer.
Again, to reiterate, this poll was taken before the AD injury news. But that would likely have a bigger-picture impact on whether the Lakers would do a trade at all. It almost certainly wouldn’t have an impact on which package they consider dealing.
And when it comes to this year’s Lakers team, it’s as simple as the fact that Westbrook has been a productive player this season and neither Kendrick Nunn nor Patrick Beverley has. Dealing out that pair, particularly now, is less of an all-in move that could allow them to buy time and figure out if it’s worth going for it at the end of the season.
Westbrook still could be dealt in the coming months and weeks in the right deal, but he’s been good enough to hold the horses on dealing him for now and explore other options.