According to multiple reports, if the Los Angeles Lakers are to trade Russell Westbrook soon, their most likely trade partners would be the Utah Jazz or the Indiana Pacers.
However, a new potential option has recently emerged: the San Antonio Spurs.
They are in rebuilding or even tanking mode after trading Dejounte Murray earlier this summer, and they reportedly may be open to taking Westbrook off the Lakers’ hands.
According to one report, they may offer Los Angeles forward Doug McDermott, swingman Josh Richardson and center Jakob Poeltl.
Via Lakers Daily:
“The San Antonio Spurs were recently floated as a team that is still open to trading for Westbrook, and Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune recently added a little fuel to the fire.
“‘Complicating matters, though, is that the [Utah] Jazz might not be the only team willing to take on Westbrook’s contract in order to get those picks,’ wrote Larsen. ‘Indiana and San Antonio have also expressed that interest, per multiple media reports. The [Indiana] Pacers could trade Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, while the Spurs could move along Doug McDermott, Josh Richardson, and/or former Ute Jakob Poeltl.'”
The picks mentioned in the report are the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks, which seem to be a prerequisite to any potential Westbrook deal.
It is questionable whether those three players would move the needle for the Lakers or help provide the missing pieces for them.
While Poeltl is a very solid young center, they may not need more help at that position, as Thomas Bryant, Damian Jones and Anthony Davis look like a very adequate rotation at the 5. Meanwhile, McDermott is a very dependable 3-point shooter, but he is a poor defender, and at 6-foot-7, he lacks the height to keep up with opposing power forwards.
Richardson, on the other hand, is a 6-foot-5 3-and-D wing who could fit nicely into head coach Darvin Ham’s plans. He shot 41.5 percent from downtown last season and can play both the 2 and 3.