Sunday, December 5, 2021

Proposed deal sends Lakers 3 former first-round picks for Westbrook

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The Russell Westbrook era with the Los Angeles Lakers got off to a rocky start, leading some fans to push for the Star Point Guard swap. The good news is that the Lakers have had limited time as their three stars share the floor, which gives hope that things will improve as the season progresses.

The Lakers preach patience, but Sports Illustrated’s Alex Kirschenbaum has drawn up five potential trades with Westbrook. Lakers chief executive Rob Pelinka faces an uphill battle to find a deal for Westbrook, given his $ 44 million salary.

However, one of the proposals is for the Lakers to win three key Spurs players, including two starters. The Lakers get Dejounte Murray, Derrick White and Thaddeus Young in exchange for Westbrook in the hypothetical proposal.

“In Murray, the Lakers could add a young, defensive-minded combo guard who doesn’t need the ball in their hands to be effective, as well as an accomplished, versatile front-court veteran in Young with above-average passing acumen who could fit in perfectly alongside James and Davis “, Explained Kirschenbaum. “White would help to make up for the loss of Westbrook’s offensive performance.

“The Spurs get an (aging) star at Westbrook who at least makes them a fun playoff team again, albeit with a 45-victory out in the first round.”

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Murray has had a great start to the season and is well on its way to hitting career highs in almost all major statistical categories. The Spurs Point Guard averaged 18.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists and two steals in their first 15 games. San Antonio will likely hesitate to do anything that could become one of the cornerstones of the young squad. Murray’s biggest weakness is his shooting, as the guard is only 31% from a distance this season.

“From San Antonio’s point of view, that’s a big caveat: The team has just come from an era where there were two older former All-Stars and sniffed the playoffs a few times,” added Kirschenbaum. “With the club now focused solely on developing its youth and unloading two of its esteemed young guards in Murray and White, whose blankets remain a mystery (although they may not sniff out All-Star status), Westbrook might not be interested in the Spurs . The Lakers would most likely want to throw at least one of their minimum salaries into this deal. “

In comparison, Murray is a lot more sensible than Westbrook, especially considering the point guard is only 25 years old. Murray is in the second season of a four-year contract for $ 64 million and a salary of $ 15.4 million for the 2021-22 season, according to Spotrac.

This is the kind of deal the Lakers admit that star power isn’t necessarily better than depth. The Lakers sent wizards Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell as part of the deal for Westbrook.

The Spurs proposal brings the Lakers two other key players in addition to Murray. White was a starter for the Spurs this season with an average of 10.9 points, 5.3 assists and 3.1 rebounds. The Guardian has had a down-shooting year so far this season with just 29.9% behind the three-point line, but is a 35.1% career shooter from afar.

Young is a journeyman striker who has made an important contribution wherever he has played. The veteran has averaged 13 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 33.1% off the three-point line over the course of his career.

The question is, why would Spurs want to trade these players for Westbrook? As Trevor Lane from Lakers Nation noticed, Pelinka will have a hard time getting a meaningful deal for Westbrook.

“There is no quick, magical solution for the Lakers. For the ‘Trade Russ’ crowd, where? ” Lane tweeted on November 20th. “For what? Lakers have the team that they have. The solution is unlikely to come through trading, although we may see some minor moves. Improvement has to come from within. “

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