Lakers Recently "Engaged in Deep Conversations" About a Russell Westbrook Trade

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Lakers Recently “Engaged in Deep Conversations” About a Russell Westbrook Trade

Chicago Bulls

Despite the Lakers pretending that all is fine and dandy this offseason, a Russell Westbrook trade is still very much on the table.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, sources believe that a deal within the weeks or months to come “remains real.” The organization’s brain trust even recently sat down to seriously consider trading the 33-year-old guard to the Indiana Pacers.

On the cusp of training camp, as media day neared and the topic of Westbrook’s uncertain future continued to dominate the conversation around the NBA, sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations say the Lakers’ key decision-makers spent several days engaged in deep conversations about the feasibility of a blockbuster trade with Indiana.

The hesitance to let go of the team’s 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in exchange for Myles Turner, Buddy Hield, and the favor of taking on Westbrook’s hefty contract continues to be the hold-up for Los Angeles. Charania noted that the Pacers have refused to budge on that asking price, emphasizing that “every conversation with the Lakers led to an ultimate demand: Both of L.A.’s available first-round picks — or no deal.”

Completely depleted of future assets, the front office would have to be confident that adding Turner and Hield would be the final piece of another championship puzzle. For now, that doesn’t appear to be the case, which is why the team is reportedly prepared to enter Year 2 of the Westbrook experiment.

If one thing is for sure, the mere existence of this update by Charania feels like it reconfirms the Lakers’ eagerness to find a way to get rid of Westbrook. They can continue to say the right things behind the scenes, but the decision to keep the 2017 MVP winner feels far more about what they would have to give up to convince someone to take him than actual belief in what he can offer on the court. With that being the case, this will continue to be a crucial storyline to follow in the coming weeks. Not only might another rough start convince LA to finally trade those future first-rounders, but other suitors could always emerge when the season finally begins.

Regardless, the Pacers do continue to feel like the most plausible landing spot. The Chicago Bulls’ central division foe is one of the few teams in the league on the verge of a full tank mode. Trading away Domantas Sabonis (and later Malcolm Brogdon) kick-started a rebuild at the end of last season, and Turner and Hield are two other solid role players ready to contribute to a winning team. The front office might not view either as a player who fits their current timeline, so moving on from both and eating some salary could become a reality by midseason.

Anyway, you can read Charania’s full and comprehensive update in the article below:



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.