The Lakers have remained in trade rumors since the start of the season, and always seemed to favor a departure from Russell Westbrook to improve their roster. However, two Angelinos would now be more inclined to leave the franchise!
The patience advocated by the front office, long criticized by fans, could ultimately prove to be wise. Faced with the Lakers’ catastrophic start to the season, many supporters demanded an immediate trade from Russell Westbrook. The leaders of the franchise, however, faced up, preferring to wait until a fateful date fast approaching.
The recent results of the men of Darvin Ham tend to prove them right, since they have just won against the Blazers their 6th victory in 8 games. A success which however preceded a first shock movement in the workforce, and which would supposedly call for other more important ones. And against all odds, Russ could nevertheless be spared.
Russell Westbrook retained at the expense of 2 Lakers?
Passing through the radio showESPN “Lakers Talk,” insider Jovan Buha claimed that Russell Westbrook would no longer necessarily be the most threatened player at the Lakers:
We know that Russell Westbrook found himself in a bunch of trade rumors. The franchise is still actively trying to transfer him, although they aren’t quite sure what they want to do with their picks yet.
But if we take a look at the production of the other three “big salaries”, Lonnie Walker is one of the best shots of the offseason and has a blast in his role as starting back, Kendrick Nunn does not justify his contract on the field and lacks consistency this season, and Patrick Beverley remains solid defensively, but displays the worst figures of his career in terms of scoring, 3-point address, and does not weigh in attack.
So I think they would like to trade Pat and Kendrick rather than Westbrook, and those are the two names that come up in talks about potential deals. The Lakers could collect 20-25 million salary in exchange for these two and a pick. That way, they would get their hands on one or two high-level starters from a team that is rebuilding or that wants to reduce its payroll.
Surrounded by high expectations before the start of the season, Beverley and Nunn clearly stand out as the two weak links in the backcourt. It would also several days that Pat Bev would have been placed on the market, even if it cannot be sold immediately. Anyway, the current good form of the Purple & Gold should not prevent Rob Pelinka and his assistants from turning everything upside down in LA!
Not necessarily very to his advantage these days, Russell Westbrook could still continue on his way to the Lakers. On the other hand, the future of Patrick Beverley and Kendrick Nunn in the City of Angels would have been greatly darkened!