Sunday, October 2, 2022

Lakers predict they will trade Superstar “sometime soon.”

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


The Los Angeles Lakers have been predicted to trade a Superstar “sometime soon.”

In a Sept. 22 article titled “Lakers Bold Predictions Ahead of 2022-23 NBA Season,” Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley predicted that Russell Westbrook would not open the new year in Los Angeles.

“It’s possible the Lakers honestly believe this can still work, but what’s to see? Westbrook doesn’t fit well into the roster. His ball dominance doesn’t work next to LeBron James and his erratic shooting hurts everyone around him,” Buckley wrote. “It seems more likely that LA will stop at nothing to get rid of the nine-time All-Star (and his $47.1 million salary per Spotrac) without sacrificing the two future first-round picks it is allowed to trade. Sometime soon, the Lakers will admit that just isn’t possible and pack those picks with Westbrook to get him out and bring in a contributor or two who actually fit that group.

According to a Sept. 7 report by Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher, the Lakers have “made manifest” that Westbrook is available for trading. Los Angeles has been trying to trade in the point guard all offseason.

The Athletic’s Bob Kravitz and Shams Charania reported July 22 that a trade package in which the Lakers traded Westbrook and a first-rounder to the Indiana Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield hadn’t gained traction since Indiana asked Los Angeles to include a second pick for the first round.

Meanwhile, according to a Sept. 16 report by The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Jovan Buha, the Lakers were discussing a four-team trade involving the Utah Jazz, the New York Knicks and the Charlotte Hornets, in which Westbrook was involved, before who sold Jazz Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Los Angeles would have picked up Terry Rozier from Charlotte and Bojan Bogdanovic from Utah.

Buckley doesn’t think Westbrook is a good fit for the Lakers, who missed the playoffs last season. The one-time MVP was second in the NBA in turnovers and had the sixth-worst effective field goal percentage in 2021-22.

“It’s possible the Lakers honestly believe this can still work, but what’s to see? Westbrook doesn’t fit well into the roster,” Buckley wrote. “His ball dominance doesn’t work next to LeBron James and his erratic shooting hurts everyone around him.”

Westbrook averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 starts last season, which are solid numbers. However, the nine-time All-Star ranked 42nd in true shooting percentage and had a plus-minus -211.

So far, the Lakers’ refusal to offer their future draft picks has prevented them from trading with Westbrook, who will earn $47.1 million next season in the final year of his contract. However, Buckley believes Los Angeles will move soon.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Westbrook is “very open” to being traded by the Lakers, although he hasn’t requested a formal trade. The UCLA product would prefer to play for a team that “enables” him.

An NBA exec who spoke to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus in August believed the Lakers had three remaining “obvious” partners they could pursue to make a Westbrook trade a reality. The anonymous manager listed the Pacers, Jazz and San Antonio Spurs.

According to a Sept. 18 report by SpursTalk’s LJ Ellis, the Spurs remain one of the few teams in the NBA willing to take on Westbrook’s expiring contract.

The Lakers, who replaced Frank Vogel with Darvin Ham, took over Patrick Beverley from Jazz and signed Dennis Schroder on free agency this summer. They also have Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves and Lonnie Walker IV on the roster, leading to a possible deadlock at the guard position if Westbrook isn’t traded.

- Advertisement -
Latest news
- Advertisement -
Related news
- Advertisement -

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here