The Los Angeles Lakers want to trade Russell Westbrook for some type of viable value, no matter how much they talk about him being a good player.
The problem is doing so would, in all likelihood, cost them first-round draft picks in 2027 and 2029. They have reportedly been very reluctant to include both picks in any such deal unless it would make them a contender.
However, it looks like the rest of the NBA sees both picks as carrying tremendous value.
Via Lakers Daily:
“According to an anonymous NBA executive, L.A. actually has two of the most intriguing assets that other front offices could still be coveting.
“‘The two Lakers’ picks are the most powerful thing as far as picks go in the league right now,’ the executive told Heavy.com. ‘Everyone expects them to be top picks and if you can get them unprotected, everybody wants those. The Lakers only want to give up one and now you have to be thinking, if you’re the Lakers, OK, (Malik) Beasley and (Bojan) Bogdanovic and Jarred Vanderbilt for one of these picks and (Russell Westbrook)? Or, you know, (Jordan) Clarkson or (Mike) Conley in there? You’re going to want three of those five players, give up Westbrook and only deal off one of the picks. Danny (Ainge) might get more picks if he sells those off individually, but he is not going to get better picks, and that is the thing the Lakers have as an advantage.'”
If a Westbrook trade happens, it would likely involve the Indiana Pacers or Utah Jazz, with the New York Knicks being a more distant possibility.
The Lakers’ hope is the players they take back in such a trade will give them a shot at contending for the NBA championship this season. Position-wise, they need at least one 3-and-D role player in the frontcourt, and in general, L.A. is in great need of more good 3-point shooters.