Throughout the summer, there were few teams the Lakers didn’t talk to about a Russell Westbrook trade. Ranging from the Hornets to the Pacers to the Nets to the Spurs to the Jazz and a host of other certain in-between, it felt like at least half the league was contacted about Westbrook.
But with no traction found on those deals and the Lakers having seemingly exhausted all available options, the talks have gone quiet. In his latest The Lowe Post podcast episode, Zach Lowe of ESPN revealed that the Lakers do not have anything in the works as things stand on the trade front.
“Right now, Mr. Beck, as far as I know...they’ve got nothing. There’s no trade happening. There doesn’t seem to be any trade discussion that are deep in the works. The Bogdanovic ship sailed for now. They could re-engage the Jazz. They could re-engage the Spurs. I’ve deemed any packages from those teams as insufficient for me to give up any major draft equity. It doesn’t bump up my odds enough.
There could be a number of reasons why talks have gone silent. For one, as Lowe notes, neither remaining packages for Utah and San Antonio. For two, many teams are likely looking to head into the season with what they have on their roster before shaking anything up at this point in the season.
That being said, there is still one option available if the Lakers want to meet the asking price of the Pacers, as Lowe also revealed on his podcast.
The one I’ve said I would sleep over if I were a Buss or Mr. Pelinka is trading both picks to the Pacers for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner...My best intel right now is if the Lakers called Indiana right now and said ‘Both picks unprotected,’ the Pacers would do that deal, would probably do that deal.”
This could also be why the Lakers are expressing patience. The Pacers seem to be the fallback plan right now as a deal that may improve the team but also isn’t the preferred option. Until there’s more urgency on them completing that part of the deal — maybe in the unlikely form of another team pursuing a trade for Myles Turner or Buddy Hield — it’s unlikely the Lakers are going to move forward anytime soon.
For now, Russ’ contract doesn’t lose any value between now and the trade deadline. In fact, it’ll only continue to gain value. If the Lakers can keep their nerve, they could still pull off a big deal, but it’s not one that seems particularly imminent.
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