“If the Lakers call them there, right away, they get these 2 players against Westbrook”
Even if the training camp has started in the City of Angels, the future of Russell Westbrook is still much talked about. It is clear that the leader is not very appreciated by the supporters, who demand his departure before the resumption, at least according to the counterpart. For this reputable ESPN journalist, a trade is indeed available for Rob Pelinka, with not one, but two players in return.
Rob Pelinka, the GM, has had a lot of pressure on his shoulders with the Lakers for a few months, even more after the fiasco in the summer of 2021. It is clear that recruiting Russell Westbrook, when other targets were available, was not the best idea in the world. Cram the veterans to the sometimes dubious level? It was also not the strategy of the year for the GM, who could lose his position depending on the Angelinos’ season.
He made the choice to repair his error by limiting arrivals at the level of veterans, while recruiting not one, but two players for the lead: namely Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder. A strong sign from the front office, which has no room for error after the absence of playoffs last year, not with the pressure put by the owner, Jeanie Buss.
A trade in preparation for the Lakers?
What should not be forgotten is that the Angelinos still have until February to set up a trade, in order to improve this workforce or to send Russell Westbrook out. According to ESPN reporter Zach Lowe, both are possible with the Pacers ready to get rid of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner. To validate this trade, Pelinka only has to do one thing.
The oft-talked-about trade for Buss and Pelinka is to trade their first two draft picks (2027 and 2029) for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner to the Pacers. From what I know, if the Lakers offered these two picks right away (in addition to Russell Westbrook), saying “they are not protected”, the Pacers would agree.
By giving their first rounds unprotected, the Lakers will have no chance of getting them back, which is what the opposing franchises want. By 2027 and 2029, many expect the Angelinos to find themselves in the Deep West, which is why both picks hold so much value.
Except that for the moment, the Purple and Gold are not flinching. They are logically interested in the contributions of Hield and Turner, but only in exchange for a single draft round, probably that of 2029. A trade which may make sense to the Pacers, since the goal will be to rebuild in the seasons to come, which the presence of their two players does not allow in the state.
Plus, there’s every reason to believe that the Angelinos won’t change their minds on this subject, at least according to information from Dave McMenamin in a recent podcast:
The Lakers were willing to include their 2027 and 2029 first rounds in a deal against Kyrie Irving or Donovan Mitchell.
A deal between the Lakers and the Pacers? As long as a franchise does not give in on this issue, fans can forget. Los Angeles refuses to let go of the first two rounds, unlike Indiana, which wants to recover as many assets as possible for its future. It remains to be seen whether a leader will crack before the February deadline, which leaves time.