Lakers Rumors: Insider Notes Only Variable Holding Up a Russell Westbrook Trade
Now that LeBron James has signed his contract extension, the focus in Lakers Land returns to whether or not Russell Westbrook will be traded before training camp. It’s been previously reported that some in the Lakers organization view the start of fall training camp as a “soft deadline” to trade Westbrook.
The Lakers roster, as currently constructed, doesn’t exactly scream “title contender”. Which certainly appears to be the driving force behind LeBron’s reported desire to continue to push the front office to make the Kyrie Irving-Russell Westbrook a reality, and not just headline fodder.
Although the Nets have been resistant to take on Westbrook’s contract, a three-team trade to land Kyrie isn’t unobtainable for the Lakers. It just comes down to two things as Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus notes.
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“The sense from those sources: Westbrook will have a new home when the Lakers green-light trades that include both their 2027 and 2029 first-rounders. What’s still unclear is whether L.A. will be willing to do so.”
Pincus highlighted how the completion of LeBron extension could play a factor in a Westbrook trade happening sooner rather than later.
“Per several sources connected to teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers have not been willing to part with significant draft capital to get off Westbrook’s contract. But that may have been tied to uncertainty surrounding James’ future, which is now put to rest.”
If the Nets are dead set on not bringing Westbrook into the hot mess, compliments of Kevin Durant, that is Brooklyn, the Spurs could be interested in a three-team trade. The Utah Jazz have also been linked to Westbrook in trade rumors since they’re far from winning after the Rudy Gobert trade and could be in the process of sending out All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks.
Bottom line, if the Lakers are willing to send out the two first-round picks, they can rid themselves of Westbrook and upgrade the roster around LeBron in the process.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.