Trading Russell Westbrook may still cost Lakers first-round pick
With less than a week to go before this year’s NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers would still like to unload Russell Westbrook, as long as he would yield a nice return that would greatly move the needle in the right direction.
They have reportedly been reluctant to move him for much of this season, especially since he has played somewhat better ever since being moved to the bench. But his limitations, especially when it comes to his lack of outside shooting and production off the ball, are still evident, especially when playing alongside LeBron James.
Another thing that hasn’t changed: The insistence that the Lakers include a future first-round draft pick by other teams as the price of taking on Westbrook.
Via Los Angeles Times (h/t Lakers Daily):
“Four months later, the market for Westbrook has largely been unchanged, according to league sources from rival teams,” the Los Angeles Times’ Dan Woike wrote. “The sense is any Westbrook trade probably would still require the Lakers to include a first-round pick to offset a team paying the rest of Westbrook’s $47 million salary.”
Once again, the Lakers are interested in trading for Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving, as they were last summer. Acquiring him would likely cost them, at a minimum, Westbrook and two future first-round draft picks.
They have been reportedly unwilling to part with both of those picks unless they would bring back a player or players that would make them championship contenders, but would that unwillingness change with Irving in the equation?
It seems that unless there is a slam-dunk Westbrook trade out there for L.A., it will simply hold on to him for the rest of the season.
Lakers player grades: L.A. is out of tune in New Orleans