Just because the Los Angeles Lakers are feeling optimistic about Russell Westbrook doesn’t mean they won’t try to trade him anymore.
They have spent the last several months attempting to move him, but to no avail, partly because of their reported reluctance to part with two future first-round draft picks.
Those two future picks seem to be an unnegotiable prerequisite for any type of Westbrook trade.
One deal that has been discussed is Westbrook and those picks to the Indiana Pacers for sharpshooter Buddy Hield and center Myles Turner.
One NBA reporter says the Pacers would say yes to that trade right now if Los Angeles would give up both picks with no protection.
Via Lakers Daily:
“Zach Lowe indicated on his ESPN podcast “The Lowe Post” (h/t Jacob Rhude) that a member of the Buss family or Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka could make a deal happen if they are willing to reconsider their past stance on the issue.
“‘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,’ Lowe said. ‘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.'”
Hield would give the Lakers a big dose of the accurate 3-point shooting they badly need. However, he is considered a weak defender, and he has a contract that will pay him about $21 million this year and $19 million next year.
Turner is a truly elite shot-blocker. But even though many have lauded his ability to stretch the floor, he is not the most accurate of 3-point shooters.
In addition, he has been somewhat injury-prone, and he is in the final year of his contract and reportedly looking for a huge extension that he may not be able to justify.